The country is less than a week from election day and Americans are more engaged than ever. With more than 60 million votes cast, experts predict that this election could see the highest voter turnout in more than a century. Residents from California to New York are mailing in their ballots or waiting in long lines, but no city is more politically inclined than Washington, D.C.
Politicians, Supreme Court Justices and others don't just come to work Capitol Hill, but they occupy the area as regular, everyday residents. In fact, the federal government is the largest employer in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. On election night, voters in the area aren't simply waiting to see election results. They are also watching to see if their bosses, supervisors and colleagues will have jobs in just a few months. Take a moment to think about that. People may have an opportunity to see a co-worker or boss they dislike, lose their job on national television. The unique nature of election night in the nation's capital doesn't stop there. Election night is akin to a sporting event in the Northwest section of the city. Bars in northwest Washington, D.C. will offer lunch specials, dinner specials and begin having happy hours as early as noon. Not to mention, business owners have began boarding up their storefronts in preparation for police clashes in the wake of results. Simply put, election night in portions of Washington, D.C. is like the Super Bowl. Here are just a few ways the city will prepare for the week of November 3rd.
Happy Hour Starts Early
If there is one positive that is sure to come on election day, it is the abundance of food and drink specials at restaurants throughout the area. Restaurants like Coal Fire Pizza in Maryland will begin serving half priced bottles of wine at 11:30 a.m. Meanwhile, nightlife venue like MK Lounge will open up for patrons at 5 p.m. Not to mention, President Donald Trump is planning to offer something of his own at his hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
Blue Duck Tavern: Super PAC: Election Night Survival Dinner Kit
On November 3, the Blue Duck Tavern restaurant will offer a special meal for patrons called the "Super Pac" kit. The "Super PAC: Election Night Survival Dinner Kit" will consist of two appetizers, two entrées, two sides, and dessert for $95. The meal is topped off by mixed drinks like the "Civic Duty" and "Political Punch."
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery: Election Night Cookies
The New York chain baker Mah-Ze-Dahr has brought their talents down south to Washington, D.C. where they will be offering a free treat to voters. All customers who show proof of voting will be treated to free cookies.
Protests Of Epic Proportions
Days in Washington, D.C. without protests are hard to come by and frankly, they're nonexistent. On election night and the days to follow, there will be more protests than one can count. Moreover, these protests will move forward regardless of who emerges victorious on election night. Thus far, more than a dozen groups have secured demonstration permits for the week of November 3. However, the number of protests will far exceed that initial figure as groups will form with or without a permit.
Shut Down DC
Shut Down DC is putting together a week-long program of demonstrations, gathering and educational sessions regarding fair elections. Throughout the week, they will gather in a number of popular locations like Freedom Plaza, Pershing Park and Lafayette Park. Nearly 10,000 people are expected to attend.
DC Action Lab
The Washington, D.C. organization is also planning a week's worth of events. From November 2 until November 10, the group plans to protest the election results in Columbus Circle, Freedom Plaza, Lafayette Park and McPherson Square. Nearly 1,000 people are expected to attend.
Open For Business?
In the days following the murder of George Floyd, many protesters took to the streets in Washington, D.C. as well as other cities across the country. Like many other cities, business owners elected to board up their storefronts in preparation for possible looting. Months later, business owners are looking to do the same for election night. While protests in May and June were largely peaceful, local business owners are "preparing for the worst." Stores ranging from downtown Washington, D.C. to Silver Spring, Maryland have put protections in place for Tuesday night.
“Our threat environment, right now, does not indicate that we’re going to see the types of activity and violence that we saw in May in June. And so we are not recommending that at this time, but again what we told the BIDS is that if the environment changes, we will communicate that to them,” D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Christopher Rodriguez said.
No Parking Here
Drinks will be flowing, food will be served, protests will move forward and streets will be blocked off. On the busiest day of the year, the Metro Police Department will block off more than 20 streets near the White House. Citizens will not be able to park or drive through Constitution Avenue, L Street and a number of other pathways near the White House. There are a number of reasons for this. The most obvious is pertains to emergency security. If things were to get hectic near the White House and Secret Service felt the need to relocate the President, they would have a clear path to do so. However, the most likely reason for street closures is to avoid cars driving through protests and to transport Donald Trump to and from his election night party at the Trump Hotel.
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