Law enforcement agencies have issued alerts after a series of envelopes containing the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl were sent to election officials across several states across the United States.
The potentially lethal fentanyl envelopes targeted offices in Georgia, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington, with some bearing the menacing message to “end elections now.”
Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, strongly denounced the actions as acts of “domestic terrorism.”
Raffensperger has a personal tragedy tied to the substance, losing his son to a fentanyl overdose more than five years ago.
He said, “Some people like to call fentanyl a drug. It’s actually poison; it will kill you, it will kill you very quickly, very easily.”
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is known to be up to 50 times stronger than heroin.
Joint efforts by the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service successfully intercepted four of the tainted fentanyl letters.
Images of one such letter, mailed from Portland, Oregon, were released by Pierce County officials in Washington, repeating the call to “end elections now.”
Steve Hobbs, Washington’s Secretary of State, identified the fentanyl envelope attacks as a form of terrorism aimed at intimidating election workers, especially as they processed ballots from the recent November 7 general election.
In Washington, officials reported that election offices in four counties – King, Pierce, Skagit, and Spokane – received the envelopes containing “unknown powdery substances.”
Fulton County in Georgia, a region previously embroiled in unsubstantiated accusations of election fraud by former President Donald Trump, received one of these dangerous parcels.
Trump, currently indicted in the same county for alleged electoral interference, has pleaded not guilty.
Robb Pitts, the Chairman of the Fulton County Commission, highlighted the ongoing threats faced by election officials since the 2020 elections.
Pitts remarked on Wednesday, “People out there who want to do harm to our workers and disrupt, interrupt, the flow of democracy.”
However, he affirmed the county’s readiness for future elections, referring to the recent events as a “good trial run” in preparation for the anticipated tensions of the 2024 election cycle.