Buildings boarded up across US ahead of possible unrest

3 November 2020, 12:39 | Updated: 3 November 2020, 14:27

A pedestrian walks past a boarded up shop in Washington DC
A pedestrian walks past a boarded up shop in Washington DC. Picture: Getty

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Buildings in cities across the US have boarded up their windows ahead of possible unrest in the wake of the election, with the possibility of no result being declared for days.

In Washington DC, just a short walk from the White House, for block after block stores have covered their windows and doors.

The White House itself has had a new fence erected around it.

In other cities ranging from New York to Denver to Minneapolis, workers have boarded up businesses amid fear of unrest of the sort that broke out earlier this year as protests raged over racial inequality.

The challenge of counting a record number of early votes has added a layer of uncertainty to an election marked by suspicions fuelled by Donald Trump, who has consistently trailed in the polls.

The president has spent months claiming without evidence that the votes would be ripe for fraud and refusing to guarantee that he would honour the election result.

Mr Trump has been focusing on Pennsylvania’s process to count mail-in votes that arrive after election day.

The president threatened legal action to block the counting of such ballots, vowing this week that "we're going in with our lawyers" as soon as the polls close.

If Pennsylvania ballot counting takes several days, as is allowed, Mr Trump claimed without evidence that "cheating can happen like you have never seen".

He tweeted – also without evidence – that "violence in the street" could follow the Supreme Court's decision to grant an extension to count the votes arriving after Tuesday.

In fact, here are roughly 20 states that allow mail-in ballots received after election day to be counted – up to nine days and longer in some states.

Litigation has centred on just a few where states have made changes in large part due to coronavirus.