Electoral college ballots rescued as protesters storm US Capitol, senator says

WASHINGTON -- After violent protesters loyal to President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and forced lawmakers in to hiding, a photo shared by Senator Jeff Merkley showed the "electoral college ballots rescued from the Senate floor."

Amid the stunning attempt to overturn America's presidential election, the Oregon senator said on Twitter that the ballots, contained in several wooden boxes, "would have been burned by the mob" "if our capable floor staff hadn't grabbed them."

Before the chaos erupted, the ballots had been been set to be counted and certified by both houses of Congress.

The storming of the Capitol Hill marked an attempt by the protesters to undercut the nation's democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.

The National Guard and state and federal police were called in for control, and the mayor of Washington imposed a rare evening curfew. One person was reported to have been shot.

US lawmakers react to DC protest that has locked down the Capitol
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Protesters supporting President Trump breach US Capitol Building during the certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory.

Sen. Joe Manchin of Virginia later said the Senate intends to certify the Electoral College ballots Wednesday evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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