BOSTON (CBS) – A polling location in the South End was shut down Tuesday afternoon after a suspicious substance was found inside an absentee ballot.

Boston Police and hazmat crews responded to 735 Shawmut Ave at about 4:35 p.m.

The powder was determined to be baking soda and firefighters removed it from the location.

“Well what we had was someone put a little baking soda in an absentee ballot,” Boston Fire District Chief Jeff Price said. “Disrupt the voting. So we had to shut the place down, get the hazmat team in there. The police have it now and they’re going to do an investigation on it.”

A Boston Firefighter holds a bag containing baking soda at a polling location (WBZ-TV)

Boston Police say the substance “appears to be innocuous and not suspicious in nature.”

The mayor’s office says polling at the location only stopped only for a few minutes.


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