With polls still open, Columbus storefronts brace for impact

By: - November 3, 2020 4:57 pm

Andy Dolan applies a plywood covering to a storefront window at the Subway southwest of the Capitol. By Jake Zuckerman

As Ohio and the nation anxiously await election results, Columbus storefronts are battening down the hatches.

Lines of businesses, especially near the state Capitol where civil unrest erupted this summer amid racial justice protests, tacked plywood coverings over their windows.

On Capitol Square, extra guards are stationed outside the Statehouse building, while the westward entrance is fenced off.

Even the Ohio Chamber of Commerce building, directly across the street from the Capitol to the east, is boarded up. A spokeswoman for the organization could not be reached — an automatic reply from her email states she’s spending the day volunteering at the polls.

Mary McCord, legal director for the Georgetown University Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, has been monitoring the threat of political unrest or violence at the polls or on election night. Hearing about the boarded up windows left her unfazed.

“I’m not terribly surprised,” she said.

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Jake Zuckerman
Jake Zuckerman

Jake Zuckerman is a statehouse reporter. He spent three years chronicling the West Virginia Legislature for The Charleston Gazette-Mail after covering cops and courts for The Northern Virginia Daily.