scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Powdery substance found at Roxbury polling station was baking soda, officials say

Voting was underway at The Haynes House apartments Tuesday evening. Danny McDoland/Globe Staff

A hazmat team has cleared a Roxbury polling station after determining that a powdery substance found inside an envelope Tuesday afternoon was baking soda, officials said.

The powder was found in an absentee ballot envelope, said Marc Sanders, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department.

Boston police has the envelope and are treating the situation as a crime, Sanders said.

“. . . the found substance appears to be innocuous and not suspicious in nature,” Boston police tweeted shortly before 5:30 p.m.

The polling station at 735 Shawmut Ave. has reopened, the tweet said.

At about 6 p.m., the line to vote at the polling station, located at Haynes House apartments, extended out of a community room.


Boston fire received a call from Boston police shortly before 4:40 p.m. to report an unknown substance at the location said Marc Sanders, a department spokesman.

The hazmat team was dispatched to the scene, and fire and police officials responded Tuesday afternoon, said Sanders.

Danny McDonald can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.