DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — With just five days until November 3, states are finalizing their last-minute preparations — not just with election efficacy, but also safety measures in the event of public outrage. It’s the eleventh hour and campaigns and public officials are doubling down.
With the countdown clock growing smaller by the day, voters are witnessing a big push where electoral victory will hinge. “I think there are a lot of Biden Harris supporters here in Texas,” said one Texas voter, who declined to share their name. “I think it’s more purple than red.”
The speculation that Texas could go blue for the first time since Jimmy Carter’s 1976 victory is factoring into record-breaking early turnout.
Ahead of the election, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he will deploy hundreds of National Guard troops in Texas’ major cities this weekend in the event that protests shift to riots.
“The National Guard will play no role whatsoever in the election process,” said Abbott. “They will not be at polls or anything like that.”
A similar announcement also made in Wisconsin. Elected officials in Austin say this move likely comes in response to police brutality riots some areas of Texas saw this summer. Mayor Steve Adler said he’s not sure troops are needed in the Lone Star State.
“We haven’t had any indication of anything special or out of the ordinary — either on the election or after the Election Day,” said Adler.
In Washington, metal barriers surrounding the White House that were erected during George Floyd protests will remain in place through the election. Some 20 streets are either shut down or have restricted parking in preparation for several demonstrations planned throughout the district.
The Chicago Police Department informed NewsNation that it has canceled days off for all full-duty personnel on Election Day into the morning of November 4th, as it gears up for the possibility of more social unrest.
In Pennsylvania, all voters have been given the choice to vote by mail, for the first time. Every county across the state has been equipped with new voting machines. Gov. Tom Wolf addressed the multi-agency task force he has in place—not just for unrest, but also COVID coverage.
“The Department of State and PEMA are providing counties with personal protective equipment including masks, sneeze guards, hand sanitizers and tape for marking distances,” said Wolf.
In regard to statewide security, it will be increased in Texas and Arizona on Friday where the vice presidential candidates will be making appearances. Vice President Mike Pence will double up in Tucson and Flagstaff. Kamala Harris will make a three-stop swing in Texas in Fort Worth, Houston and McAllen.