January 8th, 2009
08:11 AM ET
5 years ago

Congress to make it official: Obama's the president-elect

Congress will officially certify Obama as the president-elect Thursday.
Congress will officially certify Obama as the president-elect Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama will officially become the president-elect today when Congress meets in a joint session to tally the ballots from the Electoral College, which convened last month in every state and the District of Columbia.

No surprises are expected at the gathering, which is mandated by Amendment XII of the Constitution. Obama won the November general election with 365 electoral votes, compared to 173 for McCain, and all 538 electors cast their ballots accordingly when the Electoral College met on December 15.

Federal law normally requires Congress to count the Electoral College ballots on January 6, but this year, that date conflicted with the swearing-in ceremonies for the new Congress. Lawmakers passed a measure last October to change the date to January 8 for 2009 only.

Members of the newly sworn-in 111th Congress will conduct the vote counting. Vice President Dick Cheney is responsible for presiding over the session, though if he does not, the duty falls to the Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd. The session will be held in the chamber of the House of Representatives.

Each state recorded its electoral vote totals on six different copies of documents called the “Certificates of Vote” and “Certificates of Ascertainment.” The copies were then sent to the United States Senate, the National Archives, and the Federal Register.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. A concerned citizen

    Folks – the country faces a dire situation and we're arguing over who would or should be president? Or wondering about 2012??? At this moment in time, I don't think any president would be able to just change the situation we face over night. However, Obama has confidence and has surrounded himself with people, both Republican and Democrat, that will ultimately wok together to help improve the country's economic crisis. If you have a job, please be grateful that you do have a job. I am one of millions that has been laid off and I face great uncertainty about how to provide for my family while so many jobs are not available. I trust that Obama will be able to work tirelessly to do everything he can and be as good a president as possible for everyone.

    January 8, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Star

    A star is born, or THE savior of the world, only time can tell?

    January 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Wink Wink!!!

    @Jackie January 8th, 2009 12:06 pm ET
    God Bless Palin 2012! The hardship of the next four years with the "BO-God" community leader is going to be the worst of our lives.
    **Maybe you are not aware last 8 yrs under Bush leadership is the worst of our lives ..... Palin-Witchcraft maybe that will help ..She's not a qualified MOM , how can she lead this Country **

    January 8, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Matt

    @ Gerda

    Looks more like that was translated to GOP talking-point speak to me.

    January 8, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Scott

    Just 48 months and 12 days to go until the next Republican takes oval office, having sweep out Obama and his socialist cronies.

    January 8, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. clifford

    If Sara Palin were overweight and ugly ,like most of you women that trash her, she would then be your sister,sister! Correct?? We know which of you would stop a train just by the way you mock her! Try getting a face lift and stop stuffing your faces with donuts and you may start looking just as HOT!!

    January 8, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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