Throughout East Village, wood panels sit in piles on the street in front of grocery stores, apparel chains, and restaurants. Construction workers spend a cold Election Day morning boarding up windows in preparation for civil unrest.
Throughout the East Coast, students on campus or living in off-campus apartments await the results. Some students fear riots and are driven with anxiety, while others distract themselves until results are determined.
In D.C., American University student Alejandro Irizarry is not worried about post-election disturbances where he lives. “D.C. is boarded up, but I’m not worried because Cleveland Park is more isolated than the rest of the city,” Irizarry said.
Irizarry doesn’t usually get “anxious over things he has no control over” and is not expecting immediate results if Biden doesn’t win Pennsylvania tonight. As for riots in D.C., Irizarry expects a lot downtown. “If Trump wins, there will definitely be a lot,” Irizarry said. “If Biden wins, there will be some but not even close to as much.”
More excited than anxious, Irizarry is spending election night watching the news and who wins each state with a drinking game and friends. In New Brunswick, Rutgers University student Gabe Saiju is nervous and will spend most of his election night distracting himself with homework.
It took Saiju twice as long to fill out his mail-in ballot because he wanted to follow every direction to ensure his ballot is counted. After voting by mail, Saiju feels that there’s nothing more he can do. “I’m not going to lose sleep over it.”
Saiju said he expects a lot of civil unrest in New York, but only some unrest in Jersey if Trump wins. “Civil unrest is definitely happening,” Saiju said.