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

Voting was underway at The Haynes House apartments Tuesday evening.
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.

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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 daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.