SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – Shortly after 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, the Spokane County Elections Office was evacuated after an employee found an unknown white powder inside an envelope. According to Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton, the management and staff followed safety protocols.
“Our staff immediately secured the facility and evacuated the building. The Spokane Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team and the Spokane Police Department quickly responded, tested the substance and an investigation is underway,” Dalton said. She added that the employee who came in contact with the substance was cleared but sent home for the day along with the rest of the staff.
While the powder tested negative for anthrax, the Elections Office will remain closed today. Consequently, there will not be an update of yesterday’s General Election returns. Dalton says the office will reopen Thursday morning and an elections update will be available by 5:00 p.m. Dalton has also contacted the Washington Secretary of State’s Office to advise them of today’s incident.
For information about the investigation, contact the Spokane Police Department.