Troops roll into the battlegrounds: National Guard arrive in Philadelphia and Chicago as Illinois Gov. asks residents to be patient with election result ‘that could take days’
- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has mobilized the National Guard in Chicago to be on standby for any unrest
- He urged residents to be ‘patient’ with the election result, which may not come until Thursday
- In Philadelphia, armed troops manned a Target on Monday night and are also settling in for the next few days
- The city has seen uproar for more than a week since the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.
- Texas has also planned to mobilize the National Guard in cities if there is unrest and businesses are boarding up their windows in anticipation of violence
National Guard troops are patrolling the streets of Philadelphia and Chicago, including Target parking lots, ahead of Tuesday’s election that is expected to trigger violence in major cities across the country.
Troops reported to Philadelphia on Monday night, arriving in armored trucks, a day before Americans went to the polls to decide on who will be the next President. It comes after weeks of unrest in Philadelphia over the police shooting of black man Walter Wallace Jr.
Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker asked National Guard troops in his state to go to Chicago in anticipation of riots and looting.
A National Guard spokesman said the troops have not yet been given any specific directions.
‘Obviously, people can see Illinois National Guard trucks and troops moving.
‘This is to be ready to respond if needed, but we have not been given any missions. We, along with most other Illinoisans and Americans, hope we are not needed,’ Barb Wilson, the spokesman, said.
Across America, businesses are closing early and some plan to stay closed for the rest of the week for fear of unrest.
While the polls are open today until midnight, the number of mail-in votes this year due to COVID-19 means a result could take longer to reach.
Some states, like Pennsylvania, are allowing votes to be counted for three days after the election, so long as they have been post-stamped from November 3.
CHICAGO: Armored tanks arrive in downtown Chicago on Monday after Gov. JB Pritzker mobilized the National Guard ahead of anticipated unrest
Troops arriving in Chicago on Monday night ahead of Tuesday’s election
More troops in Chicago on Monday night after being mobilized by the governor
Gov. Pritzker said at a press conference on Monday that they would be on standby for any violence.
‘We’ve made sure that our National Guard is simply in a state of readiness. We want to make sure that cities, counties that call upon us for help from the state of Illinois, that we have those resources available to them,’ he said.
Pritzker also asked residents to be ‘patient’ with the election result and said it could take until Thursday to reach it due to the number of mail-in ballots that need to be counted.
In Pennsylvania, votes will be counted for three days after the election. It is very important that we are patient with the presidential election.
‘We may very well not know who won the election on Wednesday, let alone Tuesday night,’ he said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Monday that she did not call in the troops.
Some troops were seen at a Target in Philadelphia on Monday night. The store had also been boarded up to deter looters.
People tweeted from the scene, calling it a ‘sad day’.
Pennsylvania is a swing state in the election. The Supreme Court last week upheld a decision to allow votes there to be counted for three days after the election.
PHILADELPHIA: In Philadelphia, National Guardsmen were seen manning a Target which had been boarded up
Armored trucks at the Target in Philadelphia on Monday night
Trump says it is a ‘dangerous’ move that will confuse voters and cause potential unrest.
He issued a stern warning to Governor Tom Wolf last week, saying: ‘We’re all watching you, Governor. We have a lot of eyes on the governor and his friend.
‘Couple of other governors out there too.’
Wolf retaliated on Twitter, saying: ‘Pennsylvanians will not be intimidated. You can watch us count every vote and have a fair election.’
Philadelphia saw several nights of rioting last week after the shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr. by two cops.
Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by less than 1 percent of the vote there.
In New York City, stores started boarding up at the weekend in anticipation of riots. Despite the NYPD planning extra training, Mayor de Blasio keeps insisting there is no need for panic.
‘Based on what we are seeing, there’s not a particular reason to do that. It’s up to each store owner, obviously,’ he said during an interview on Monday.
In the summer, business owners were blindsided by looters who ravaged their stores while other, peaceful protests over the killing of George Floyd swept the nation.
Many say they are not willing to take that chance again this year.
BOSTON: There were few people on the streets of Boston on Tuesday. Stores were boarded up in the Prudential Center (pictured)
BOSTON: Workers boarding up a Brooks Brothers in Boston on Tuesday ahead of the election result
Workers board up the windows of the still-open CVS on the corner of Newbury and Fairfield Streets in Boston’s tony Back Bay shopping district on election day in anticipation of post-election unrest
A pair of men board up the La Labo perfume store below the Arden art gallery on Newbury St. near Clarendon st. in Boston’s Back Bay on election day in anticipation of post-election unrest
Stores along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn are boarded up in anticipation of protests on Election Day Nov 3 2020
A pair of men board up the Alan Bilzerian clothing store on a string of boarded up storefronts including a Cartier Jewelers between Arlington and Berkkely Streets in Boston’s tony Back Bay shopping district on election day in anticipation of post-election unrest
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