Chicago details safety plan for potential election unrest

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CHICAGO — Chicago police are prepared for any civil unrest surrounding Halloween weekend or Tuesday’s election, city officials said Friday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said residents can expect to see more police in uniform and police vehicles parked close to commercial areas downtown and in Chicago neighborhoods starting this weekend.

The 10-day strategy is similar to Chicago’s response following civil unrest this summer that included vandalism and burglaries of businesses downtown and in neighborhoods.

Lightfoot said she’s hopeful that people will be peaceful if there are protests as election results are tallied and announced. But she said police, other law enforcement and city agencies are well prepared to respond to any violence or law-breaking.

“Regardless of what happens, November 3 will be a big day for all of us,” she said. “And our goal is clear: Keep Chicagoans safe, as we take part in this momentous day.”

People also should feel secure voting in person early or on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic continues, Lightfoot said.

Election and city health authorities said people voting in person must wear masks. Polling places also will use social distancing, plexiglass dividers and regular cleaning to minimize health risks.

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