Election officials in Washington, Oregon, and Georgia have been sent letters containing white powder — some of which was later identified as crushed fentanyl.
In Fulton County, Georgia, the letter was intercepted before being delivered to its target. According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the secretary’s office is “working with our state and federal partners to determine if any additional Georgia officials are being targeted.”
Raffensperger added that “election officials should be free from fear and intimidation, which is why I’ve called on the General Assembly to increase penalties for election interference. We will work tirelessly to ensure that Georgia elections remain free, fair, and secure.”
In Washington, four election offices — in King, Skagit, Spokane, and Pierce counties — were forced to evacuate on Wednesday. According to the office of Secretary of State Steve Hobbs “local, state, and federal authorities are investigating the incidents, which occurred while workers were processing ballots from the Nov. 7 General Election.”
Hobbs added in a statement that “the safety of staff and observers is paramount as elections workers across the state open envelopes and count each voter’s ballot” and that “these incidents underscore the critical need for stronger protections for all election workers.”
In Lane County, Oregon, the county elections office was forced to close on Wednesday after officials reported receiving a suspicious piece of mail. Devon Ashbridge, a spokesperson for the Lane County Elections office, told The Washington Post that no one who came in contact with the letter had been negatively affected, and condemned the attempt to “terrorize our elections staff.”
Elections officials throughout the country have previously raised concerns about the safety and security of election workers, particularly in the aftermath of conspiratorial claims of vote manipulation in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Poll workers and election officials continue to resign en masse, many citing relentless threats and intimidation that have not fully abated since Trump’s 2020 loss.
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