More states’ election offices report suspicious envelopes, several test positive for fentanyl

November 10, 2023

At least five states reported suspicious envelopes sent to election offices, with at least four of those envelopes’ contents testing positive for fentanyl, the FBI said Friday.

Along with election offices in Washington state and Georgia previously reported, offices in Oregon, Nevada, and California were also reporting having been sent suspicious envelopes as of Friday, while authorities in Texas investigated an envelope containing an unknown substance that has so far come back negative.

One letter obtained by ABC News included a headline, in all caps, “END ELECTIONS NOW.”

“We are in charge now and there is no more need for them,” the letter goes on. 

Election officials in King County, Washington said the incident did cause workers to pause in counting ballots amid this Tuesday’s election, which consisted local and county races and measures in Washington state, though counting had resumed by 3pm ET.

In Georgia, an envelope had been sent to an election office in Fulton County, where former President Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants are being prosecuted for their alleged roles in attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election results in that state. 

“This is domestic terrorism and it needs to be condemned,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Thursday.

Washington state’s Secretary of State Steve Hobbs additionally called the several envelopes sent to election offices in his state “acts of domestic terrorism to threaten our elections,” adding that they “underscore the critical need for stronger protections for all election workers.” 

According to the CDC, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, and has been a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.

“Some people like to call fentanyl a drug. It’s actually poison, it will kill you, it will kill you very quickly, very easily,” said Raffensperger, who sadly noted that he and his wife lost their then-38-year-old son five-and-a-half years ago to a fentanyl overdose.

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