Postal Service Intercepts Suspicious Mail Headed to Election Facilities in California

Postal Service Intercepts Suspicious Mail Headed to Election Facilities in California

Los Angeles Registrar's Office personnel process mail-in voting ballots in Pomona, Calif., on Aug. 31, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin

11/10/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

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Two suspicious envelopes headed to election facilities in Los Angeles and Sacramento were intercepted by the U.S. Postal Service, the California secretary of state reported Nov. 9.
“Federal and state authorities are investigating the incident, but there has been no confirmation that these envelopes contained any toxic substances,” said Secretary of State Shirley Weber in a statement.
“Nevertheless, we are advising local election offices to take precautions before handling mail that arrives at their facilities,” she said.
Investigators are still trying to find where the envelopes originated and what was in them. Authorities are concerned the incidents are part of a trend of suspicious mail being sent to election offices in Georgia, Oregon, and Washington state that have contained fentanyl and other substances, according to Ms. Weber’s office.
In Washington, envelopes received by elections offices in four counties were found to contain an unknown powdery substance, the state’s Secretary of State Steve Hobbs reported Nov. 8. Elections workers evacuated their offices in all counties, and election leaders have taken precautions to keep staff and visitors safe, he said.
Local, state, and federal authorities are investigating the incidents, which occurred while workers were processing ballots from the Nov. 7 general election.
A person mails a letter at a mailbox outside a post office in Los Angeles, Calif., Aug. 17, 2020. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

A person mails a letter at a mailbox outside a post office in Los Angeles, Calif., Aug. 17, 2020. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

On Aug. 1, during Washington’s primary election, officials in King County received an envelope containing fentanyl, a deadly and powerful synthetic opioid.
In Georgia, an envelope headed to Fulton County also tested positive for the drug, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed in a press conference Nov. 9. He called the incident “domestic terrorism.”
“Some people like to call fentanyl a drug, but it’s actually poison,” said Mr. Raffensperger, who lost a son five years ago to a fentanyl overdose. “It will kill you very quickly. This is very serious.”
Authorities in Oregon also reported Nov. 9 finding suspicious letters in Lane County, according to the Associated Press.
The Oregon incident prompted county officials to close the elections office and delay an afternoon pickup of ballots, the news outlet reported.
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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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