According to reports, a female staffer rescued the Electoral College ballots prior to the Capitol being stormed by Trump rioters
On Wednesday, Americans watched as a group of irate pro-Trump rioters shattered windows, pushed over police and guards, and stormed the Capitol building, even entering the state building and the House chamber where the Senate had moments before been in the process of certifying the electoral votes to affirm that Joe Biden would be the next President of the United States. The members of the Senate were safely evacuated from the building before the rabid and angry men and women made their way into the governmental establishment, in what was surely a chaotic moment for them. Luckily, one “quick thinking” staffer – reportedly a woman, of course – took the 2020 Electoral College ballots out of the building, protecting the country from delaying the certification even longer.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) gave major props to some quick-thinking staff members for saving the ballots. “Electoral college ballots rescued from the Senate floor,” he wrote. “If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also praised the heroic act, noting that it was a woman who was responsible for securing democracy.
“The good news is that one of the staff members was very, very quick-thinking, and was able to grab and secure the Electoral College ballots and bring them with her to this location,” Duckworth said in a phone interview with CBS. “So we have them with us, and we will be able to proceed as long as Mitch McConnell calls us back into session.”
As a result of the staffer’s act, the Senate was able to reconvene after the situation was controlled approximately six hours later, and shortly after 3:40 a.m. Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence announced that President-elect Joe Biden had won the presidency.
However, the angry mob’s actions, encouraged earlier in the day by President Donald Trump who tweeted to his constituents to “walk over” to the Capitol while congress was counting the votes, resulted in four deaths and 52 arrests. Luckily, Trump is being restricted on social media, with Facebook announcing that he will be banned “indefinitely.”
And, while those who took part in the madness were Americans, President Elect Joe Biden reminded the country that their acts were anything but American.
“Let me be very clear: the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent who we are,” he tweeted. “What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It borders on sedition, and it must end. Now.”
“Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile. To preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to pursuit of power and personal interest at any cost, but to the common good.”