For several months, the President has been saying the 2020 election is “rigged,” at least if he loses. Further, if the President does lose and refuses to allow for a peaceful change of power, the Biden campaign has lawyers across the country to ensure local ballots are counted correctly, and that the entire voting process is protected.
However, this is of little comfort to the millions of facilities, businesses, and business owners throughout the country that fear there will be civil unrest no matter who wins. Tensions could rise even more because we likely will not know who the clear winner is of the 2020 election on election night. It may be a few days, even a few weeks, due to possible legal challenges, until the election results are known.
During that time, one candidate may appear to be in the lead, only to find the other has taken that position a few hours later. This uncertainty alone could trigger civil unrest. So, what should facilities and businesses across the country do now to prepare for this possibility?
Here are some options, some possibly more appropriate than others, to consider as you get ready for the 2020 election:
Do nothing. In the past 20 years, there are parts of the country that have witnessed no civil unrest of any kind. Most of these are in the Northern part of the country and include Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. It’s possible this will hold true this year as well.
Do not make assumptions. While some states have a long history of little or no civil unrest, that does not mean it cannot happen. Further, believing you, your staff, and your facilities are safe because you are in a “blue” state, or a “red” state can prove folly.
Analyze current security measures. We find that many building and business owners do not know what security measures they currently have. For instance:
- Their property may have a burglar alarm, but has it been tested recently?
- Who and how many people have passcodes to that alarm?
- What is the name of the company that installed the alarm?
- Does this company “monitor” the alarm, ready to call the police or fire department if it is triggered?
- How is it triggered?
- What about executive security? What measures are in place to protect your C-suite people?
- The best way to have your current security measures analyzed is to contact a corporate security/risk management organization.
- Plan ahead. Invariably, planning, even if it is just “low-level activation,” is better than not planning at all. Low-level activation could be as simple as having your staff work remotely the week of the election.
- Consult with emergency managers and consult with local law enforcement agencies for their advice.
According to a recent article in the Washington Post:
Police departments across the country are bracing for Election Day, mobilizing officers as they prepare for the possibility of voter intimidation, unrest or violence.
The Post goes on to say that while law enforcement agencies routinely plan for the possibility of civil unrest after elections but the 2020 election is different:
This year’s preparations are unusually extensive because of the sheer levels of anxiety and toxicity across the country – with fears that a modern American election could give way to potential violence.
Be wary of unusual emails. Already, we have seen emails circulated around the country, threatening people not to vote one way or the other. Advise your staff to ignore these emails and do not respond to them. Further, avoid what appear to be “authentic” emails from local jurisdictions about where or when to vote, or “apps” that need to be downloaded to vote. These invariably are bogus.
Finally, stay calm. Even if you have not taken any of these steps, it is essential to stay calm and see how things evolve. Decisions made in haste invariably turn out to be wrong decisions. While tensions and concerns remain high, there is still a good chance that we will get through this election safely and, once again, believe in the guiding principles of our country.
As always, we value your feedback, which helps us shape our perspective on recent events, security, and the services we offer.
Chief Executive Officer
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