A polling location in Roxbury was temporarily shut down Thursday night when an “unknown powder substance” was found inside an envelope containing an absentee ballot.
Boston police responded to 735 Shawmut Ave. at 4:37 p.m., department spokesman David Estrada said.
The fire department’s hazardous materials team was called in, but the substance was quickly deemed “innocuous and not suspicious in nature,” according to police.
Haz-Mat Response to 735 Shawmut Ave. Roxbury at approx. 4:40 PM for an unknown powder substance. Substance confirmed to be non-hazardous/baking soda. Baking soda was located inside an envelope with an absentee ballot. This is a polling station. @bostonpolice investigating. pic.twitter.com/acKglUt59p
— Boston Fire Dept. (@BostonFire) November 7, 2018
The polling location was “closed for a short time” while the teams worked to identify the substance.
By 5:16 p.m., polls were reopened to voters, Estrada said.
Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
#BPDUpdate: Polling location at 735 Shawmut Ave in Roxbury has been reopened. HAZMAT Unit has given the all clear and the found substance appears to be innocuous and not suspicious in nature.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) November 6, 2018