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Fentanyl tainted envelope mailed to Skagit elections

Courthouse drama is nothing new in Skagit County.

But what is new is the tact taken to disrupt the counting of 2023 general election ballots at the county auditor’s office in Mount Vernon last Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Ballot counting stopped for a period upon receipt in the mail of a white powdery substance by county elections workers. It was later confirmed to contain trace amounts of fentanyl, a controlled substance that can cause respiratory distress and death.

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office was alerted just before noon and immediately blocked access to the courthouse and stationed deputies at its entrances.

Elections workers were counting mail-in ballots for offices throughout Skagit County, including the La Conner School board race between John Agen and Janie Beasley and the bid by La Conner Chamber of Commerce Director Mark Hulst to retain his seat on the Mount Vernon City Council.

“A Skagit County elections worker opened a mailed envelope and found a suspicious white substance inside,” Skagit County Communications Manager Jenn Rogers told the media Wednesday afternoon. “Staff immediately contained the envelope, called 911 and evacuated the auditor’s office, which includes the elections staff.”

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