Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement Wednesday morning saying while she is "heartened that our city remains calm and peaceful," it is "crucial for us as a city to be focused and diligent."
"We wake this morning with little clarity in the presidential race, but with some important known facts. While counting of some ballots in Chicago continues, we know thanks to the collaboration and support of our city's departments and agencies, and the Chicago Board of Elections, a near-historic number of Chicagoans rose to meet this moment in an unprecedented year by casting their ballots, volunteering at polling places, and making their collective voice heard," Lightfoot said in a statement. "We have much to be proud of as a city."
NBC News projected that former Vice President Joe Biden will capture Illinois' 20 electoral votes, holding down a key Democratic stronghold in the 2020 race. It was also projected that Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin will retain his seat, fending off Republican Mark Curran and independent candidate Dr. Willie Wilson.
Election officials in several key states are still working to count ballots in the presidential race between President Donald Trump and Biden, and the process could take several days in some locations.
In states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, votes are still being tabulated late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, with some mail-in and absentee ballots still waiting to be counted in those states.
Other key states, including Georgia and Arizona, remain too close to call, according to NBC News projections.
"As we anxiously await the outcome of the presidential and other races, I am heartened that our city remains calm and peaceful," Lightfoot said. "This election has generated a lot of emotions on all sides. There will be a lot of chatter until the election results are verified, but it is crucial for us as a city to be focused and diligent to be sure, but also calm and peaceful. Let's channel our emotions into a productive expression of our First Amendment rights. No matter the outcome, we will get through this by remaining together, as neighbors who need each other and love our great city and country.”
The city has implemented a preparedness plan in the event of demonstrations following the election results.
The Wabash Avenue bridge remained raised Wednesday morning after city officials decided to lift it Tuesday night in a preemptive move ward off potential unrest near Trump Tower.
The bridge was shut down “as part of a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of residents,” said Mary May, spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
Police have increased patrols and city businesses boarded up windows and doors.