Envelopes With Fentanyl Sent To Election Offices In Georgia And Washington
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on November 11, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. At the press conference Raffensperger announced an audit of the Secretary of State race.
(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Envelopes with fentanyl were sent to election offices in Georgia and Washington state, according to officials, during a week in which voters went to the polls throughout the country to cast their ballots for Election Day 2023.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Thursday that officials are working to intercept an envelope making its way through the mail to Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, that had tested positive for fentanyl.

This followed evacuations at multiple locations in Washington state where a suspicious powder was found in four envelopes, including at least one in King County and another in Spokane County that authorities said they tested and found some fentanyl.

Raffensperger told reporters at a press conference that local officials who could receive the in-transit envelope have been trained with Narcan, an overdose-reversing nasal spray, and noted that his state’s other 158 counties have been placed on alert.

“Some people like to call fentanyl a drug, but it’s actually poison. It will kill you. It will kill you very quickly — very easily,” he said, adding that his son died of a fentanyl overdose several years ago.

Washington officials said envelopes containing suspicious powder disrupted workers as they counted ballots on Tuesday.


“The safety of staff and observers is paramount as elections workers across the state open envelopes and count each voter’s ballot,” Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said in a statement. “These incidents 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.”

Election officials in King County, which includes Seattle, also received an envelope and letter with trace amounts of fentanyl during Washington state’s August 1 primary, Hobbs’ office said. Another envelope sent to Okanogan County officials also contained a suspicious substance that was later determined to be unharmful.

Authorities are working to determine who sent the latest series of envelopes, the Associated Press reported. The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating the incidents, according to the Department of Justice, as are state and local officials.

During his press conference, Raffensperger suggested investigators may have been able to link the envelopes sent to Washington and Georgia through “postmarks and things like that.” He also said this is “domestic terrorism” and “needs to be condemned by anyone who holds elected office and anyone that wants to hold elected office anywhere in America.”

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