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Voting lines in NYC moving 'smoothly and safely,' NYPD officials say

An election official wearing a protective mask assists

An election official wearing a protective mask assists a voter at a polling location for the 2020 Presidential election at Madison Square Garden in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. American voters, at least those who've not yet cast ballots, go to the polls Tuesday to choose between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden and cast votes in U.S. House and Senate races and state and local elections. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg Credit: Bloomberg/Jeenah Moon

Voting lines in New York City on Election Day were moving "smoothly and safely," officials with the New York City Police Department said Tuesday.

Polling places had no significant incidents and officials expected no issues half way through Election Day.

"For anyone who hasn’t voted yet, get out and vote, know that you will be safe doing so," NYPD Chief of the Department Terence Monahan told reporters in a briefing about the activity at polling places throughout the city on Tuesday.

As Election Day progressed into the evening, Monahan said the department would have thousands of additional officiers on hand to handle any incidents, adding that in the coming days there would be officers ready to handle things.

With the violent protests and looting which marred the city over the summer still fresh on the minds of officers and the public, Monahan had a warning for anyone or any group planning trouble or destruction because they would be arrested.

"Let those who are trying to cause chaos know they are not welcome," Monahan said in a comment aimed at organizers of peaceful protests. "Separate from those agitators and we will deal with them."

Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes, who took over the post only last week, said as of mid afternoon the city was experiencing what she called medium to light turnout, with one incident not worth mentioning. Police said it involved a dispute over a truck in Park Slope with a flag which officers controlled quickly without any summonses being issued.

Monahan did acknowledge that the department had contingency plans for setting up frozen zones in the city in case things got out of hand, although he did not expect anything to happen.

Given the looting and arson which occurred in the Spring during protests, Monahan said he understood why business owners have boarded up shops and businesses as a precaution.

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