FBI: Powder in returned ballot not harmful

Multnomah County spokesperson Melissa Navas, May 14, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Multnomah County spokesperson Melissa Navas, May 14, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One day after an election facility was evacuated in Portland, the FBI said powder found inside a returned ballot is not likely to be any kind of bio threat or toxic agent.

The Multnomah County election building on SE Morrison was evacuated around 4 p.m. Monday when an employee noticed an envelope made a sound when it was shaken. The envelope was taken to a supervisor who found a powder or crystalline substance.

Field tests by the fire department showed it wasn’t a dangerous substance, such as anthrax, and tests from the state public health lab were negative for any kind of bio threat.

Melissa Navas, a spokesperson for Multnomah County, said the FBI is in charge of the investigation, and that all safety procedures were followed.

An FBI spokesperson would not say what they believe the substance to be, or if they tested to see if the substance was fluoride. The investigation continues to determine whether there was any intent involved.

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