Retailers around the country are boarding up their storefronts over concerns of civil unrest after the election, The Washington Post reports.
Commercial outlets in from Washington DC and New York to California have boarded up windows and hired additional security leading up to Election Day.
“All of the requests are the same: Board up everything before Election Day,” a security contractor told the Post. “If you go downtown, everything is boarded up, regardless of whether it’s a luxury store or not. It’s never been like this before.”
The same trend is playing out on the west coast.
“Ferragamo is boarded up, Prada is boarded up, Dolce & Gabbana is boarded up,” Kathy Gohari, vice president of the Rodeo Drive Committee, told the outlet. “Rodeo Drive is among the most desirable streets in the world, which means we’re one of the biggest targets. What we do not welcome is people with ill intentions, who are here to destruct property.”
That comes after retailers have already sustained an estimated $1 billion in insured losses from property damage and theft amid nationwide protests over police brutality this year.
National Guard on alert:
Some states have already put the National Guard on alert over the concerns, according to The New York Times.
Massachusetts has put 1,000 National Guardsmen on standby.
Oregon has declared a state of emergency in Portland and has put the National Guard on standby as well.
“We know that there are some people who might use peaceful election night protests to promote violence and property destruction,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Monday. “That behavior is not acceptable.”
Some states, like Wisconsin and New Jersey, have also called up the National Guard to help with election tasks amid poll worker shortages.
At least 10 states have activated guardsmen to help out and 14 others are expected to follow suit.
Few instances of intimidation reported:
There have been few instances of voter intimidation reported despite long-running concerns about Trump’s “poll watching” operation.
"Other than comments from the president of the United States discouraging Americans from voting by mail, I am not aware of threats and suppression happening throughout Oregon,” Brown said. "I do know that students at our universities were concerned about the safety and security of vote by mail because of the president's comments. I find those extremely concerning that the president of the United States would take active efforts to suppress the power of the vote and the power of Americans to exercise their very fundamental free speech rights."