November 8, 2023, Mount Vernon, WA - Skagit Vally Herald by Brandon Stone
The Skagit County Auditor’s Office was evacuated about noon Wednesday after an elections official found an envelope containing a white powdery substance.
County spokesperson Jennifer Rogers said police and fire departments have responded, and a hazardous materials team was on its way to the downtown Mount Vernon office at about 12:30 p.m.
The hazmat team, which is through the nonprofit Specialized Emergency Response Program, arrived at about 3 p.m., and entered the building after about an hour of prep.
No injuries have been reported.
The elections official who found the powder said the envelope felt suspicious. The elections official wearing a mask and gloves while handling it, Rogers said.
The county plans to reopen the Auditor’s Office on Thursday, though results of the testing of the substance were not available Wednesday.
This alleged threat comes the day after the 2023 general election, and while the office is still packed with staff and volunteers tallying ballots.
Elections offices in King, Pierce and Spokane counties were also evacuated under similar circumstances, according to reporting by KOMO News.
Statement from SCRP Chairman Bill Bruch:
"Today we had two SCRP volunteer Republican election observers for the 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM shift, both say that at about 11:30 AM the Skagit CO Election worker who received the envelope/letter with the bag of white powder (return address of Portland, OR on envelope) indicated that the letter/message said something like: that we are not having real elections and this one should be stopped."
"The Skagit Couty Republican Party condemns any acts of violence and all acts of fraud and/or acts of terrorism."
The below image has been circulated on social media and was reported on the Ari Hoffman radio show. It is believed to be from Pierce County. POST