Heightened security, protests, and associated disruptions are likely throughout the US during and after the Nov. 3 presidential and congressional elections. Local and state officials plan to deploy additional security personnel around government and electoral offices, campaign headquarters, and business districts. Members of the National Guard have been activated or placed on alert in several states, to collaborate in different functions, including responding to potential post-election unrest.
Tens of millions of people will cast votes Nov. 3 throughout the 50 states and the District of Columbia, while more than 80 million people have already cast votes by mail or in person. While most recent presidential elections are resolved on election day, the large number of votes submitted by mail in the 2020 elections, mostly due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, increases the likelihood that the results in multiple states will not be known late Nov. 3, nor early Nov. 4. This could lead to uncertainty and confusion in the days following the election. Organizations supporting the two main candidates, President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, have said they intend to demonstrate if they perceive the counting process is being mishandled. If the announcement of the results is delayed, protests are especially likely in the states with an unclear winner, as well as in major cities, such as Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Prior to the election, activists affiliated with several organizations, including Refuse Fascism, have planned nationwide anti-government protests to demand Trump's resignation and that he accepts the electoral results.
Demonstrations have been confirmed at the following locations and start times:
- Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Common, 1400, Nov. 1
- Chicago, Illinois: Federal Plaza, 1400, Oct. 31
- Cleveland, Ohio: Market Square, 1400, Oct. 31
- Houston, Texas: Westheimer Road and Montrose Boulevard, 1600, Oct. 31-Nov. 1
- Los Angeles, California: Pershing Square, 1400, Nov. 1
- New York City, New York: Union Square, 1400, Oct. 31-Nov. 1
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Rittenhouse Square, 1800, Oct. 31-Nov. 1
- Seattle, Washington: Green Lake Park, 1600, Oct. 31-Nov. 1
Unannounced protests may also occur in other major cities, and thousands of people will likely attend the protests in major cities. Heightened security, transport, and business disruptions are likely throughout the US Nov. 3-4. Ground travel disruptions are likely near all protest sites. Protests, including some with violence, and clashes between demonstrators and police, and between opposing demonstrators, are possible. Should significant acts of violence occur, authorities may deploy additional security forces, activate National Guard forces, and/or implement movement-restrictive measures, such as curfews.
Monitor developments closely. Consider avoiding operating near demonstration sites to mitigate delays. Allow additional time to reach your destinations. Should violence occur, leave the area immediately. Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm business appointments.