Presumptively dangerous substance found in California county elections office

The California Secretary of State Election Security Task Force was notified Tuesday, Jan. 16, of a suspicious package containing a white powdery substance discovered at the Yuba County Registrar of Voters headquarters.

The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department assumed control of the package and a field test of the powder detected the presence of fentanyl. Further analysis will be conducted to eliminate any false positive result.

No staff were harmed during this incident as safety protocols were promptly taken to ensure their safety. California Secretary of State, Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. commended the response of Yuba County elections staff and law enforcement in managing a potentially dangerous situation.

“I am relieved that nobody was harmed, Weber said. “The response of the Yuba County Registrar’s team and Sheriff’s office minimized potential harm and ensured my office could provide immediate guidance to the state’s 57 other counties.”

“We are currently working with our local, state and federal partners on this developing incident,” Weber said. “This is an ongoing investigation. We will release the details as appropriate.”

The Secretary of State’s office has issued an advisory to county election officials providing guidance on safety protocols and coordination with local, state and federal authorities.

“California’s dedicated election professionals, workers and volunteers – our friends, neighbors, and family members – are the unsung heroes of our democracy,” Weber said. “Year after year, and election after election, they protect our cherished democratic principles and our hard-won right to votes.

“I trust that law enforcement authorities will identify and bring to justice any persons responsible for seeking to intimidate, threaten, or harm election workers.”