Sen. Jeff Merkley Says Electoral Ballots 'Rescued' Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., speaks during a news conference on February 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 06 January 2021 07:22 PM
The actual Electoral College ballots were rescued before Capitol protesters infiltrated the Senate chamber, according to Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
On his Twitter account late Wednesday, Merkley posted a photo of the ballots in boxes sitting on a table.
“Electoral college ballots rescued from the Senate floor. If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob,” Merkley tweeted at about 5 p.m. ET.
A joint session of Congress met around 1 p.m. ET to certify the electoral votes from the presidential election. Each body was sent to its respective chamber to debate the Arizona electoral votes, which had been objected to by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
President Donald Trump and allies have alleged voter fraud led to Joe Biden winning the election.
Protesters comprised of Trump supporters ascended on the Capitol following a rally at which the president appeared and said he would never concede the election.
Nearly five minutes after his Electoral College ballot tweet, Merkley tweeted: “I am safe, and thank you to all who have reached out in concern. It's been a truly dark day at the U.S. Capitol.”
Merkley has served in the Senate since 2009. He was the only Senator to endorse Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.