PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four Washington state elections offices were evacuated due to the discovery of a suspicious powder.
The evacuations began around 8:30 Wednesday morning, as ballots from the special election were being counted.
The incidents happened at offices in King, Spokane, Skagit and Pierce counties. KOIN 6 News contacted the Clark County elections office who said they were aware of the situation but had seen no evidence of a similar situation in that office.
According to the report from KIRO, Tacoma fire officials responded to one of the offices and tested the substance. Preliminary results indicated that it was baking soda.
Meanwhile, a suspicious letter delivered to Oregon’s Lane County Elections Office prompted the office to close on Wednesday; however, it’s unclear what the nature of the suspicious letter is at this time.
In a statement, Washington state Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said the envelopes had been received by four counties, and that local, state and federal law enforcement were investigating the incidents, which he said, “underscore the critical need for stronger protections for all election workers.
“Democracy rests upon free and fair elections. These incidents are acts of terrorism to threaten our elections,” Hobbs said in a statement.