Donald Trump has warned there will be ‘violence on the streets’ if the election results are delayed tonight, as restaurants and shops were boarded up in anticipation of a night of unrest.
Nearly 100 million votes have already been cast through early voting or postal ballots, which could lead to delays in counting, but today is the final stretch of the marathon race to the White House.
Staff from the Department of Justice have already been sent to 18 states to control voter intimidation or suppression, while an anti-climb fence was erected around the White House on Monday evening.
Bracing for a difficult night, business windows and doors in major city centres were seen boarded up – even the lower flower of the Empire State building was covered in plywood.
Washington DC’s business district also advised owners to ‘take precautions such as securing outdoor furniture and signage that can be used as a projectile’.
In the final hours of his campaign, Trump hit out at the Supreme Court for allowing to count mail-in ballots beyond Election Day in crucial swing states such as Pennsylvania, where Democratic rival Joe Biden is narrowly in the lead.
If the Pennsylvania postal ballot counting takes several days – which is permitted – Trump alleged that ‘cheating can happen like you have never seen’.
The president, his family, and officials have used postal votes in past elections and there is no evidence to suggest it is open to fraud.
He threatened that any delay beyond election night will put the country in danger in an incendiary tweet which was quickly censored by Twitter and labelled as ‘misleading’.
‘Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,’ read the Twitter message.
Trump called the Supreme Court’s decision ‘VERY dangerous’ and warned a rally on Monday night: ‘You’re going to have a population that’s going to be very, very angry.’
On Trump’s claims, Democratic rival Joe Biden said: ‘I’m not going to respond to anything he has to say. I’m hoping for a straightforward, peaceful election with a lot of people showing up.’
Results are set to be delayed this year due to the high number of mail-in ballots submitted due to the pandemic, with Trump suggesting he would try to stop the count early if he appears to be in the lead.
Biden warned Trump was attempting to ‘steal’ the election, after the Democrat was placed in the lead in the closing opinion polls.
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