Electoral College vote certificates were secured by staff as rioters stormed the Capitol

Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY

As rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol Wednesday causing lawmakers to be quickly ushered out of the House and Senate chambers, staff members made sure to grab the boxes holding the Electoral College certificates the lawmakers were in the middle of counting.

Capitol Police walked around the Senate chamber, ordering everyone to stand away from the doors as rioters entered the Capitol. And then when the call to evacuate went out, the boxes of electoral votes were taken away too.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., later told CBSN the ballots were taken away so certification could continue in a "secure Capitol location."

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., shared a picture of the certificates.

"If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob," he wrote.

The breach caused the Capitol to go on lockdown as President Donald Trump's supporters milled the halls, offices and chambers of the Capitol. Photos taken inside the building show rioters broke windows, sat in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and on the dais of the Senate chamber.

More: Biden calls Capitol riot ‘insurrection,' Trump tells mob to 'go home' - live updates

Despite the chaos at the Capitol, lawmakers said they wanted to finish the count tonight.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said on Fox he was "confident" they would complete the count tonight.

And Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., told reporters he hoped they would restart the count as soon as the Capitol was cleared.

"We're going to finish tonight. Everyone is committed to staying whatever it takes to get our job done," he said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Electoral votes were whisked away from pro-Trump Capitol rioters