County Election Office Receives Unknown Substance in Mail

Gregory Vellner
Envelope and paper.Unsplash

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. -- Authorities have yet to identify materials sent in an envelope bearing an expletive-laden message and containing an unknown suspicious substance sent to the Bucks County, Pa., Board of Elections Office here – action later called “idiotic and pathetic behavior.”

An initial investigation determined the mysterious substance was not hazardous but did contain insect parts.

Following receipt recently of the envelope, staff members immediately alerted the county’s Emergency Services staff, after which fire, EMS and hazardous teams were dispatched to the county Administration Building here. Air conditioning was turned off for the entire building during the investigation, and work in the Board of Elections Office temporarily halted as the office closed and staff exposed the substance quarantined. Operations resumed before noon when the “all clear” was given by investigators.

“We are incredibly thankful for the way our county staff, Security personnel, Emergency Services and first-responders reacted to the situation,” said county Commissioner and Board of Elections Chair Bob Harvie. “Since the 2020 election, people in Bucks County have been misled by baseless and unfounded allegations, and our Board of Elections employees have been subjected to unprecedented hostility as a result. This incident was an example of the kid of idiotic and pathetic behavior which has been targeted at election workers around the nation.”

Harvie also said the foul political climate has driven discourse like the mailing to the Board of Elections.

Said he: “It is beyond unfortunate that the climate in our county has driven some extremists to believe this sort of incident represents legitimate political discourse.”

Commissioner and Board of elections Vice Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia said election falsehoods are promoted every day in Bucks and across the nation.

"From the January 6 insurrection in Washington to action like this one experienced in Bucks County, public officials and employees are increasingly becoming targets of extremist rhetoric and intimidation,” she said.

As of July 25, the county Board of Election was open and operating normally, said James O’Malley, county spokesperson.

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA

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