A person turns in their ballot at a ballot box located near the Edmonds Library in Edmonds, Washington on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

A person turns in their ballot at a ballot box located near the Edmonds Library in Edmonds, Washington on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Suspicious mail sent to Snohomish County elections office

The auditor’s office, which was still counting votes, said the mail matched the description of envelopes received by other counties.

EVERETT — Snohomish County elections officials turned over a piece of suspicious mail to federal law enforcement Thursday, just a day after election offices across the state received mail with powdery substances.

The auditor’s office said the mail matched the description of similar suspicious mail received by the other counties.

Four election offices in counties across the state — King, Skagit, Spokane and Pierce — evacuated as they counted votes due to the envelopes Wednesday. The mail in King and Spokane counties tested positive for trace amounts of fentanyl. The envelope in Pierce County was found to contain baking soda.

Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, a former state senator from Lake Stevens, called the incidents Wednesday “acts of terrorism to threaten our elections,” according to the Associated Press.

Snohomish County election officials did not open the envelope. The mail was turned over to federal law enforcement.

“FBI Seattle, along with our law enforcement partners, responded to multiple incidents involving suspicious letters sent to ballot counting centers in Washington state,” bureau spokesperson Steve Bernd said. “As this is an ongoing matter, we do not have any further comment but the public can be assured that law enforcement will continue to keep the public’s safety as its top priority. The FBI would also like to remind everyone to exercise care in handling mail, especially from unrecognized senders. If you see something suspicious, please contact law enforcement immediately.”

The elections department continued processing and counting ballots Thursday. Election results will be certified Nov. 28.

Jenelle Baumbach: 360-352-8623; jenelle.baumbach@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jenelleclar.

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