Election Day ushered in skirmishes near the White House and relatively minor demonstrations in California and elsewhere on the West Coast, but fears of widespread unrest that prompted businesses to board up windows in anticipation of riots did not materialize.
Over 1,000 people protesting President Donald Trump converged about a block away from the White House on Tuesday, while hundreds more marched through parts of downtown Washington, blocking traffic and setting off fireworks.
Scattered protests also took place from Seattle to New York City, but across the United States there were no signs of serious violence or widespread unrest in the hours immediately after the polls closed.
While the demonstrations in Washington were largely peaceful, at one point, people taking part in a march stabbed the tires of a parked police van to flatten them.
Hundreds of people marched in anti-Trump demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, with several arrested.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown had put the National Guard on standby, since Portland has seen almost nightly protests since the death of George Floyd in police custody in May.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Twitter that there would be “no tolerance for any violence, intimidation or criminal destruction,” and that people should be “safe while using their voice to advocate for their perspective.”
In Seattle, police said they arrested several people Tuesday night, including someone who put nails on a road and another who drove over a barricade and into a bike lane. No one was injured.
Hundreds of businesses in cities across the United States boarded up their doors and windows ahead of the election, fearing the vote could lead to the sort of violence that broke out after Floyd's death.
“Some people would like to cause mayhem and trouble,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said earlier in the day. She said she had never seen so many businesses being boarded up. “That all saddens me.”