Courtesy of Office of Secretary of State

Suspicious envelopes received by King County elections officials

Trace amounts of fentanyl found in letter received the day before primary elections.

The Office of the Secretary of State says it is “monitoring” reports of suspicious materials in envelopes received by elections officials in King and Okanogan counties.

Local, state, and federal authorities are investigating the incidents, which occurred while election workers were processing ballots from the Aug. 1 primary election.

A suspicious letter reportedly received on July 31 by the King County Elections office was turned over to the United States Postal Inspection Service, which performed an analysis that detected trace amounts of fentanyl, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The Okanogan County Courthouse was evacuated Wednesday after the auditor’s office contacted authorities that afternoon to report receiving an envelope containing an unidentified substance, which is currently being tested, according to the Office of the Secretary of State.

Because both investigations are ongoing, the office says it can provide no further information about either incident. No connection is known between the two situations.

“Elections offices in every county in Washington have had to develop emergency plans and protective strategies for events like these, which should serve as a sobering reminder of the dangers that surround our elections process and elections workers,” Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said. “My office and I will provide all the resources at our disposal to any county that needs help confronting any challenge, and will continue to advocate for stronger protection for all elections workers.”

In July, Hobbs announced the availability of up to $80,000 in election-security funding for each Washington county that uses an Albert sensor to monitor security risks to their elections networks. This is the second year for this funding program, which distributed more than $1.57 million during fiscal year 2022-23 for county election security.

Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Madeline Goldsmith. COURTESY PHOTO
No suspect yet in July 2023 Kent murder of Madeline Goldsmith

Someone fatally shot 18-year-old Kentwood High graduate as she sat in vehicle near Lake Meridian

t
Police bust mother, daughter in Kent for retail crime spree

Two reportedly joined one other woman in 3-state crime ring taking women’s clothing from Lululemon

t
Reith Road in Kent to get two new roundabouts this year

City Council approves $4.28 million bid; project to start in late May or early June

t
Puget Sound Fire’s Teddy Bear Clinic set for May 18 in Kent

Annual event provides free checkups for teddy bears and children

t
Overturned military vehicle causes I-5 backup near Kent, Federal Way

Wednesday, April 10 in northbound lanes near South 272nd Street

t
Kent Police Blotter: March 26 to April 7

Incidents include robberies, burglaries, shooting

t
State Patrol seek witnesses to I-5 hit-and-run crash in Kent

Collision at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 along northbound I-5 near State Route 516

t
Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent turns profit for 2nd consecutive year

City-owned facility brings in about $600,000 in 2023

Kent Police recovered nearly 800 catalytic converters in a 2021 bust. File photo
New state legislation fights catalytic converter theft

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on March 26 adding new regulations… Continue reading

t
Firefighting Diversity & Recruitment Workshop set for May 11 in Kent

Event designed to help potential candidates get jobs

t
Kentwood High grad’s legacy of love lives on through organ donation

Madeline Goldsmith one of 344 organ donors honored by Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia

Flowers, framed photos, plush toys and a QR code to the GoFundMe pages of the families grace the memorial site after the March 19 crash. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing.
Judge, lawyers debate low bail for Kent driver in fatal Renton crash

Judge explains reduction from $1 million to $100,000, which was posted by family of Chase Jones