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Douglas County Courthouse Closed For Investigation Of Tainted Ballot

Courtesy Douglas County

The Douglas County courthouse in Waterville was closed again today [Friday] while detectives continued to investigate the circumstances around a tainted ballot.

An employee in the county auditor’s office opened a ballot envelope on Thursday that contained a white powder. The envelope and its contents were sent to a lab for analysis. Further investigation showed the powder was harmless, but the office and courthouse were closed.

Washington’s top elections officer, Secretary of State Kim Wyman, says incidents like this are not common, but not rare either.

“Before I was Secretary of State, I was county auditor in Thurston County, and we would get very creative things back occasionally from voters, some of them very disgusting and I won’t share with your listeners. But, literally, we had one voter for a string of years who would put blood on their ballot. It was gross,” Wyman said.

Employees from the auditor’s office were taken to a local hospital after the exposure, but later released.