[Editor's note: this article has been updated to reflect the true story behind the viral photo of two women carrying the electoral votes.]
Yesterday we watched on television how a mob of Trump supporters invaded and destroyed the Capitol. The mob's intention is unclear, what is clear is that they believe President Trump won the election, just as he does despite a multitude of contrary evidence. The images were (and still are) hard to watch. Four people died yesterday and also the fragility of the U.S. democracy was put on display.
However, the focus was also on an image that has since yesterday gone viral. In a thread of tweets, author Glennon Doyle highlighted that it was women who, amidst the chaos and panic as everyone was evacuated from the Capitol, had the presence of mind to grab and protect the electoral votes from the angry mob. Her original tweet has now over 20,000 likes and has been reshared over 2,000 times.
It was a woman Senator who had the presence of mind and persistence to secure and transport the electoral college v… https://t.co/OMb3NQSqA9— Glennon Doyle (@GlennonDoyle) 1609970010.0
Today, Doyle shared the image of the two aides who carried the electoral votes to safety. In it you can see two young aids, wearing dresses and masks and carrying a leather box containing the votes. Her caption reads:
"Here are the women — Senate aides — who had the presence of mind and courage to protect, keep safe, and transport the electoral votes before fleeing the Senate — which was under siege by domestic terrorists.
There will always be villains.
There will always be heroes."
Doyle's post was shared over 3,000 times at the time this was published and had over 400 comments. In them people praise these women for doing their job and protecting the choice of the American people, but also some are concerned about their safety now that this image is becoming more and more viral.
However, Snopes talked to the photographer behind the photo, Caroline Brehman, who confirmed the photo was taken prior to the riot. "They are carrying in the ballot boxes to the House chamber for the initial opening of the session yesterday. If you check the timestamps it can show that this happened at least an hour before anyone broke into the Capitol," wrote Brehman in an email to Snopes.
The image is still so powerful. Young women carrying the people's choice in their hands is an image, I hope, makes it to history books.