The Bucks County Board of Elections Office this morning received an envelope bearing an expletive-laden message and containing a suspicious unknown substance. An investigation determined the substance was not hazardous, but did contain insect parts among the as-yet unidentified material.
Staff immediately alerted Emergency Services, after which fire, EMS and hazmat teams were dispatched to the county Administration Building in Doylestown. Air conditioning was turned off for the entire building during the investigation, and work in BOE temporarily halted as the office closed and staff exposed to the substance quarantined. Operations resumed before noon when investigators gave the “all clear.”
“We are incredibly thankful for the way our county staff, Security personnel, Emergency Services and first responders reacted to today’s situation,” said 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 Election employees have been subjected to unprecedented hostility as a result. Today’s incident was an example of the kind of idiotic and pathetic behavior which has been targeted at election workers around the nation.”
“In a democracy, everyone deserves to have their voice heard,” he said. “But it is beyond unfortunate that the climate in our country has driven some extremists to believe this sort of incident – which stokes fear in the rank-and-file employees it most directly impacts and disrupts the people’s work – represents legitimate political discourse.”
“Election falsehoods are being promoted every day in an increasingly hostile national political climate. From the January 6 insurrection in Washington, to actions like the one we experienced today in Bucks County, public officials and employees are increasingly becoming targets of extremist rhetoric and intimidation,” said Commissioner and Board of Elections Vice Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia.
Bucks County Administration and the Board of Elections thank county Security, the Doylestown Fire Department, Bucks County Haz-Mat, the Doylestown Fire Marshal, Central Bucks EMS, county 911, county Detectives, the FBI and county General Services for their swift, professional response.
Media Contact: James O'Malley, 215-348-6414, [email protected]