Election offices in several key U.S. states have been besieged by a series of disturbing incidents involving suspicious letters, some containing the dangerous opioid fentanyl.
This wave of threats, reported by the Associated Press, has affected states such as Georgia, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington, disrupting ballot counting and raising grave concerns about the safety of election workers.
In Washington, Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO reports that counties including King, Pierce, Skagit, Spokane, and Snohomish were targeted post-election with these threatening letters, leading to significant delays in ballot counting. This situation compelled the evacuation of several offices, as highlighted by Pierce County Auditor Linda Farmer, reflecting the impact of the threats on the electoral process.
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed similar threats in his state, where local election offices received letters containing fentanyl, as detailed by KOMO, a Seattle ABC affiliate. Raffensperger’s call for harsher penalties for election interference underscores the seriousness of these threats.
JUST IN: @komonews obtained these pictures, showing the threatening letter that forced the evacuation of the Pierce County Elections Office. A white powder was found with the letter. Nobody was hurt. The letter ordered officials to "end elections now." As you see, it was\u2026
A striking detail in some of these letters is the inclusion of the Progress Pride Flag, a symbol that has recently been at the center of controversy. The Advocate, in a June report, described how the flag became a point of dispute following a misleading Fox News headline that falsely associated it with grooming and pedophilia during a White House event. The inclusion of this symbol in the threatening letters adds a troubling dimension to these acts, intertwining political tensions with LGBTQ+ rights issues.
As described by the Pierce County Auditor’s Office and reported by KOMO, the letter was sent from Oregon and postmarked on November 6 in Portland, one day before Tuesday’s elections. It carried a message that read: “End elections now. Stop giving power to the right that they don’t have. We are in charge now and there is no more need for them.”
It was accompanied by symbols like the antifascist emblem, a Progress Pride flag, and a pentagram. These symbols, sometimes linked to leftist politics but also used by conservative figures to stereotype the left, make the sender’s intentions and political leanings unclear. Those on the right have frequently used the Progress Pride flag and “Antifa” iconography to ridicule people associated with those movements.
The incidents, being investigated by the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service authorities, highlight the urgent need for increased security measures and protections for election workers.
Washington's Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said the incidents were “acts of terrorism to threaten our elections.”
Olivia Dalton, a White House spokesperson, told the AP that the Biden administration was keeping up with the investigation.
“We are grateful for the election and poll workers who served this week to ensure the security of our democratic processes,” Dalton said.