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U.S. Election Safety

The Situation

U.S. elections are set to take place on Tuesday, 3 November, with many states opting for

mail-in ballots and/or early in-person voting. This election is highly contentious and carries

with it the potential for violence, mainly across the U.S. with other worldwide locations


Our concerns range from isolated incidents to an extended period of mass protests, violent

confrontations between counter-groups and widespread property damage, if the outcome

of the election remains unclear, hotly contested or “undesirable.” Extremist groups have

been especially vocal regarding election-related violence on various internet platforms.

Locations that have seen heightened tensions or previous violence this year carry a high

probability of seeing large-scale demonstrations which could easily lead to violence.

Due to the likelihood of potential violence, many police departments are extending patrol

shifts in the weeks leading up to the election. Elections historically have not required a

heightened police presence.

The Justice Department has been planning since early October to station officials in a

command center at FBI headquarters to coordinate a federal response to any disturbances

or other problems with voting that may arise across the country.

Possible Effects:

  • Voter intimidation (a federal crime)

  • Protests or demonstrations, especially near government buildings, polling locations and city center

  • Presence of counter protesters

  • Large groups of people which may increase tensions

  • Disruptions to public transportation and businesses where protests are being held

  • Increased traffic congestion in the vicinity of protests

  • Increased presence of security, law enforcement, media and other personnel

Mitigating Factors to Apply:

  • If available, vote at an early polling location

  • Avoid voting in-person during busier times, such as early morning, lunchtime and in the evening

  • Report incidents of voter intimidation to authorities

  • Avoid large crowds, which have the possibility of turning violent and may also serve as a catalyst for COVID-19 spread

  • Avoid movement after dark, especially to retailers, polling centers, and downtown areas

  • Should you choose to protest, ensure you maintain active situational awareness and be alert for changes that could impact your safety

  • Practice social distancing and wear a mask when distance cannot be maintained and in confined spaces with others

  • If detained, adhere to the instructions of local authorities

  • Abide by local laws and restrictions

  • Allow extra time for travel

  • Avoid travel after dark, when civil unrest tends to escalate

  • Prepare for disruptions caused by protests

  • Monitor local and social media for updates

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DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS™ gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS™ (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.


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