Voting at Westminster polling site temporarily halted after ‘suspicious package’ is found, then deemed safe
A suspicious package found in a parking lot near a Westminster polling site on Saturday halted voting for about two hours before a bomb squad determined the box was safe, authorities said.
An Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad said the package was not explosive or dangerous at 6 p.m., allowing authorities to reopen the area to the public, said Westminster police Cmdr. Alan Iwashita.
An employee for the County Registrar of Voters had seen an individual walk up to the parking lot adjacent to the Westminster Community Services building on 8200 Westminster Boulevard, which is serving as an official voting center, Iwashita said.
The individual placed a box, about 18 inches long, at the parking lot, he said.
The employee called police about 4:06 p.m. Westminster police arrived, along with the Sheriff’s bomb squad to investigate the package, Iwashita said.
Authorities halted voting at the site and evacuated the immediate area on Westminster Boulevard between Newland and Jackson streets, police said in a news release.
After about two hours, the bomb squad determined the package did not pose a threat and police reopened the area.
Voting centers in Orange County are scheduled to operate until 8 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Registrar of Voters website.
In a tweet about the Westminster incident at 6:28 p.m., Registrar Neal Kelley said “we have clearance that it is now safe and have reopened for voters.”