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Philadelphia’s Center City has been preparing for the outcome of the election for an entire week. This scene on Chestnut St. shows back-to-back storefronts prepared for Election Night results. Photo: CNN/AL DÍA
Philadelphia’s Center City has been preparing for the outcome of the election for an entire week. This scene on Chestnut St. shows back-to-back storefronts prepared for Election Night results. Photo: CNN/AL DÍA

This is what election day looks like in 2020

From boarded-up cities in preparation for protests to people lined up for blocks to vote on Election day. This is what Nov. 3 2020 looks like at the outset. 

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In the days leading up to Nov. 3rd, it’s as if cities throughout the nation collectively became construction sites. 

From banks, major businesses like CVS Pharmacy to Target, along with smaller businesses that had the means and foresight to prepare for Election Day, they’re all following suit— stepping up security measures in order to fend-off damages related to protests.

Cities shielding themselves for riots. It’s a phenomenon that has not happened before an election in the country prior to President Donald Trump.

After the United States witnessed Black Lives Matter demonstrations from coast to coast, the likes of which unseen since the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s, businesses now have the hindsight to prepare for the possibility of similar demonstrations in reaction to the outcome of this week’s election.

Stores across the nation were damaged over the Summer in reaction to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police officers, along with countless other unarmed Black individuals. 

In Philadelphia, retailers have been working to prevent a repeat since last week, when Walter Wallace Jr. was killed in West Philadelphia at the hands of police officers. Shot multiple times, Wallace was said to be suffering from a mental illness episode when officers were called to the scene.  

In the aftermath, protesters took to the streets of West Philly, and retailers in Northeast Philadelphia were subject to looters. 

Today, retailers are hoping to prevent this from happening again.

They’re seen with “We are open” signs displayed on storefronts, while their businesses remain boarded up, waiting for the outcome.

Photo: CVS Pharmacy on Market and 20th in Center City, Philadelphia. Photo: Ericka Conant, AL DÍA

The president himself has hopped on the train. In mere days, he has barricaded the White House from the rest of Washington D.C. in preparation for Election Night, by building a multi-level wall around the Capitol with signs reading “do not enter.”

Long Voter Lines
 

But while barricades have gone up, all across the county, since the start of early voting, the nation has witnessed long lines at ballot drop-off locations and polling locations. 

All it takes for voters is a little patience, as the same long lines were seen across the country on the morning of Election Day.

In the largest battleground state in the nation, it was no different, as voters across Philadelphia lined up before polls could even open. 

Today, long lines were mostly seen before the start of the workday, as several polls open at 7 am. Hundreds of voters stood in line, braving the cold to exercise their civic duty before clocking in for the job.  

In Philadelphia, at-large City Councilmember Helen Gym remarked the turnout across the city, “From Germantown to West Philly.”

Across the state, students at the campus of the University of Pittsburgh notably stood in line for blocks, all while social distancing in temperatures in the mid-’40s, signaling the eagerness among the younger voting blocs this year.

However, as the lull of the workday passes, polls are expected to pick-up again, with many expected to be active until the cutoff time. Still, as long as a voter is in line by that cutoff time, they must be allowed to vote. 

Not just in Philly, but all across the country, the people are showing up to vote. Walls will continue to go up, and retailers will finish boarding-up their windows in the final countdown, but voters in record numbers are letting the nation know they’re watching.

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