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Washington braces for possible election night chaos, businesses board up doors, windows

Much of Washington was already boarded up because of looting, destruction associated with summer's social justice protests.

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D.C. businesses boarding up windows
D.C. businesses boarding up windows
(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
Updated: October 29, 2020 - 2:32pm

Washington, D.C., businesses are boarding up their doors and glass fronts to protect property if riots break out during election week. 

Election Day is Tuesday, but the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, as a result of the coronavirus, threatens to leave the outcome of the race inconclusive for days or weeks.

Some restaurants and hospitality businesses will not open on Tuesday because customers will not be around. Some are planning to work from home to stay safe from any potential threats. 

Much of the city was already boarded because of the social justice protests this spring and summer that resulted in property damage, looting and the activation of the National Guard.

The city has told businesses that they don't suggest boarding up their doors because there are no credible threats of violence.

“The District does not recommend businesses board up their buildings,” a flyer called “First Amendment Demonstration Resource Guide for Businesses” reads.

“While at this time there are no known or credible threats to the District, business and property owners should plan for the eventuality that something may happen on Election Night and the entire week following, particularly during the hours of 7pm-Midnight,” Mount Vernon Triangle Business Improvement District President Kenyattah A. Robinson wrote in an email.

The Mount Vernon are is just a few block from the White House. 

Residents are also preparing for threats that may come not only on election night, but also the days following. 

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