Despite dangers of widespread citizen suppression, rampant phony news and public violence, the US Election Day on November 3 went off generally without incident. However, tensions ran high in ballot cubicles and on the street, with voters catching scenes of confusion, events of citizen intimidation and scuffles with cops in demonstrations from Portland to Washington, D.C.
In the days leading up to November 3, voters and business owners prepared themselves for the worst. Highway blockades in the democratic states of New york city and New Jersey by Trump car convoys on November 1 and the surrounding of a Biden project bus by Trump lorries in Texas on October 31 had actually specialists worried about voter intimidation.
Bracing themselves for possible riots, company owner in cities like LA, New York City and Washington, D.C. installed plywood barricades, as seen in this November 2 TikTok video of shuttered storefronts in D.C.
Confusion leads to heated encounters at voting cubicles
Although riots and coordinated attempts at citizen intimidation did not transpire, the tension of a historical and extremely polarised election was felt at the polls.
In a follow-up Twitter post, Guardian press reporter Sam Levine wrote that he consulted with the election judge at the polling place in question, who discussed the incident was a “misconception” during a “crowded and demanding time”, which the poll watcher was ultimately allowed in.
Cases of citizen intimidation were scarce and isolated
Although there were no signs of considerable voter intimidation efforts on the day of the election, a number of separated cases were taped. In Charlotte, North Carolina, cops apprehended an armed male who was loitering in front of a voting website and returned there after being asked to leave earlier in the day.
Another case of voter intimidation occurred in Brooklyn, New York City, where a male standing next to a jeep embellished with Trump flags paced aggressively in front of a polling booth, screaming and swearing at passersby.
Kristen Clarke, president and director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a national civil rights organisation that handles the Election Protection Hotline in English, told FRANCE 24 Observers that the organisation has not seen major systemic issues or attempts to obstruct voters beyond separated and erratic occurrences. According to Clarke, as of 3: 50 pm Eastern Time on Election Day, the hotline has actually received 22,000 calls, not consisting of online and text message reports. The bulk of the calls came from Pennsylvania (12 percent of all calls), then Texas (10 percent), Florida (7 percent), New york city state (7 percent) and Michigan (6.5 percent).
Tense demonstrations happen in Washington, D.C., Portland
On Election Night, numerous protesters collected in cities like Washington, D.C. and Portland for presentations that were mostly non-violent however tense, punctuated by circumstances of aggression and scuffles with police. In D.C., numerous individuals began collecting in front of the White House in the late afternoon. At nightfall, demonstrators aligned with various political causes marched through the streets of the capital. A Twitter video posted by host and press reporter Elijah Schaffer reveals a big group of black-clad Antifa protesters, holding a banner that reads “Burn down the American Plantation” and shouting “F ck Trump, F ck Biden”.
There were several scuffles with local police, as seen in this Twitter video by user Andrew Derek where officers pinned a male to the ground and tried to distribute the crowd. According to NBC Washington, three people were detained that night in 2 separate events.
The outlet also reported that four individuals were stabbed near the White House in the early morning following Election Night.
In Portland, hundreds took part in protests against authorities brutality, President Trump, and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler that were primarily non-violent, though tense.
On November 2, the eve of the election, Portland protesters also smashed windows in a local Starbucks and poured combustible liquid within. Officers at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office called the occasion a “possible arson” and have actually apprehended 2 suspects.
Post by Diana Liu