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Business owners confident voters will not trash storefronts despite bitter election

A doorman looks on as pedestrians browse storefronts along Rapid City's 6th Street on Tuesday,...
A doorman looks on as pedestrians browse storefronts along Rapid City's 6th Street on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Many business owners said it would be uncharacteristic of the local populace to riot or vandalize stores based on the results of the election.(Dominik Dausch)
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 1:57 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A rancorous election campaign brings two polar candidates - and the political views of voters - head-to-head amid a pandemic. Despite this, it is business as usual for most local businesses.

Many downtown stores and restaurants KOTA-TV spoke to said they are not worried about voters taking their anger out on buildings based on whether President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden loses the 2020 United States presidential election.

Instead, the majority of business owners are optimistic people will react reasonably in Rapid City once the election results are announced. None of the businesses we reached said they would close early or implement extra security measures in the event of election-related violence.

Jennifer Johnson, owner of Alex Johnson Mercantile, said she would be surprised to hear about any activity that would require a police response.

“[For anyone] to pull any shenanigans - it just wouldn’t seem right for our community here,” Johnson said. “I would feel absolutely calm leaving my store at the end of the day and all would be fine.”

Business owners in larger urban areas have boarded up their storefronts in anticipation of violent unrest induced by the race for the presidency.

The Rushmore Mall and a number of local businesses temporarily shuttered their establishments after hearing rumors the nation-wide George Floyd protests would spread to Rapid City in June.

Rapid City Police Department declined to comment on whether they would increase patrols before tonight’s election, but RCPD Communications Specialist Brendyn Medina did say their officers are ready to react to anything. He also stressed the public should report any suspicious activity to the proper authorities.

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