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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

U.S. businesses board up ahead of election

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U.S. businesses board up ahead of election
U.S. businesses board up ahead of election

Shops and businesses in major cities across the United States covered their windows with plywood on Monday in anticipation of unrest connected to Election Day.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

Business districts and office buildings in several U.S. cities are boarding up their doors and windows for fear of Election Day unrest and in the days that follow.

The sound of sawing, drilling and nailing filled several blocks around the White House and in New York City, including its iconic Macy's flagship department store.

Police said Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills will be closed down completely on Tuesday, following a large pro-Trump demonstration in the shopping district over the weekend.

Federal authorities planned to extend the perimeter fencing around the White House by several blocks, encompassing the same area fenced out during this summer's protests against racism and police brutality.

On Monday, eight state attorneys general, representing Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan warned they would not tolerate voter intimidation.

But last week, a Michigan judge sided with gun-rights advocates in allowing open carry at Election Day polling sites, blocking enforcement of an order by state authorities banning such displays of firearms. The foiled plot by a group, including right-wing militia members, to kidnap the state's Democratic governor still fresh in voters' minds.

In Texas, the FBI was investigating an incident involving a pro-Trump convoy of vehicles that surrounded a tour bus carrying Biden campaign staff.

The caravan, which Trump praised, prompted the Biden campaign to cancel at least two of its Texas events.

Democrats accused the president of encouraging supporters to engage in acts of intimidation.

Meanwhile, law enforcement is preparing for a range of potential threats, from spontaneous acts of violence to more organized, planned attacks.

And police departments in major cities across the country say they are planning to put more officers on the streets or on standby around the election in case trouble erupts.

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