Friday ceremony makes presidential results official
January 4th, 2013
02:12 PM ET
1 year ago

Friday ceremony makes presidential results official

(CNN) - President Barack Obama has officially won re-election.

Vice President Joe Biden, in his capacity as president of the Senate, made the unsurprising announcement after a bit of official pomp and circumstance in Congress on Friday. The House and Senate convened a 23-minute joint legislative session Friday to perform the official task of receiving and counting the Electoral College votes.

The results were as expected.

"Barack Obama of the state of Illinois has received for president of the United States 332 votes. Mitt Romney of the state of Massachusetts has received 206 votes," Biden said. "Joseph Biden of the state of Delaware has received for vice president of the United States 332 votes. Paul Ryan of the state of Wisconsin has received 206 votes."

"This announcement of the state of the vote by the president of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January 2013," he said.

The votes are typically counted on January 6, which falls this year on a Sunday, so Congress' first act Thursday included a provision to move the count to Friday.

The Senate "tellers" opened the official Certificate of Ascertainment and Certificate of Votes from the states, which are prepared by governors and submitted to the speaker of the House and president of the Senate.

Senate pages carried in mahogany boxes carrying the certificates.

The process is laid out in the Constitution, which says after the electoral votes are submitted, "the president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted."

The process is typically ceremonial and smooth. In 1877, however, a special commission including members of the House, Senate, and Supreme Court reviewed challenged ballots, according to the House historian. That year Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president.


Filed under: House • Joe Biden • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Joe should have read the results three times so it can sink into Congress' skulls & the obstructionists skulls who won the election. – PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA

    January 4, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Joe should have read the results three times so it can sink into Congress' skulls & the obstructionists skulls who won the election. – PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA"

    The MSM seems to pretty much need a reminder as well.

    January 4, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. FOX NEWS: The dung beetle of journalism.

    Sweet Baby Jesus, is Boehner gonna start bawlin' again?

    January 4, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Ha! Be sure to send Donald Trump a copy of the president's electoral college transcripts. Would you please?

    January 4, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    Lol@ dutch.he should have

    January 4, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Joe should have read the results three times so it can sink into Congress' skulls & the obstructionists skulls who won the election. – PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
    -------------
    Spelling correction: Barack "Who's sane" Obama

    January 4, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Sniffit – You ain't never lie!

    @ Rudy NYC – He's definitely the "sane" one when dealing with the other side of the aisle.

    January 4, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    "Barack Obama of the state of Illinois has received for president of the United States 332 votes. Mitt Romney of the state of Massachusetts has received 206 votes," Biden said. "Joseph Biden of the state of Delaware has received for vice president of the United States 332 votes. Paul Ryan of the state of Wisconsin has received 206 votes."

    Just thought I'd repeat it. (GOPers tend to need a few repeats for reality to kick in.)

    January 4, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Data Driven

    Clearly, this photo was taken after the man on the right enjoyed yet another "liquid lunch".

    January 4, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    What? No one screamed " You lie!"? I'm disappointed.

    January 4, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. GuestAgain

    It's not the president we dont like, it's his liberal agenda that has divided and weakened our nation on many fronts...sheeple!

    January 4, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. the_dude

    Romney offered more jobs
    Obama offered more welfare and section 8 and free cell phones

    Guess who won.....

    January 4, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. albertabound

    G(reedy) O(ld) P(igs) should finally accept the fact that they are the LOSERS in every sense of the word. It is absolutely unbelievable that they are banging the drum about refusing to negotiate with the President, who was mandated by the people to put their financial house in order. It would be totally appropriate if none of the Tea Party and old line Republicans are re-elected in the next election, the Democrats will gain a new majority and get things done.

    January 4, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. ST

    You will hear from GOP claiming they also won the House, as if they operate from the White House.

    January 4, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. rs

    Guest Again-

    I guess as the GOP clown car continues to spin our of control to the right, that the policies and actions of the President might appear "liberal" by comparison.

    As a Liberal, I think that I can tell you with a fair degree of experience and observation, that AT BEST Mr. Obama is a centerist, and certainly not liberal.

    January 4, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Romney offered more jobs
    Obama offered more welfare and section 8 and free cell phones
    Guess who won.....
    ---------------------------–
    Romney offered more corporate welfare and greed
    Obama offered a fair shake
    And we know who won and who is at one of his multiple million dollar homes

    January 4, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. rs

    Dude-
    Get over it. Romney offered an additional $800,000 in tax cuts to the richest 125,000 Americans- no gifts there, right? Where do you clowns get the "free cell phones" thing? You know that is a fantasy of the Right-wing media, right?

    January 4, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    the_dude

    Romney offered more jobs
    Obama offered more welfare and section 8 and free cell phones

    Guess who won.....
    ----------–
    The American People won. Romney offered more jobs overseas than he did in the US. Give me a break. Even Romney backed away from his claim of being a job creator when he couldn't produce one example of it. Selling and stealing cash doesn't create jobs. It makes you a capitalist.

    As for welfare...70% of those receiving it live in red states and voted for Mitt Romney. Mitt offered cell phones, too. He took them back on election night when he lost.

    January 4, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. T Dail

    Obama won the popular handily and landslided the electoral :)

    January 4, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    Data Driven

    Clearly, this photo was taken after the man on the right enjoyed yet another "liquid lunch".

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    LOL!! Judging by the glass in front of him, it looks like he brought his "lunch" with him!

    January 4, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Flip

    The free cell phone deal is corporate welfare, not people welfare. It guarantees income, probably at a very high cost, to cell phone companies to be paid by us the tax payers.

    January 4, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Sam

    I heard about 70 Tea Party Republicans say the election was rigged. They were not able to suppress enough votes in Republican controlled states. They think they were robbed of the election.

    January 4, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Four More Years!

    Cuantro Anos Mas!

    Quatre Ans Deplus!

    Weitere Vier Jahre!

    Altri Quattro Anni!

    January 4, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -GuestAgain

    It's not the president we dont like, it's his liberal agenda that has divided and weakened our nation on many fronts...sheeple!
    **************************
    So, the right-wing gratuitous insult machine blames us for dividing the country, when they have exploited every divide imagineable to implement policies that have caused the middle class to stagnate over a generation? As far as being sheep are concerned, they are the ones parrotting back the FOX talking points every day, word for word, never questioning them, never asking if they are being used, voting against their own self-interest. Talk about a mindless herd....

    January 4, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    It was agreed that the Fiscal Cliff had to do ONLY with taxes, and the sequestration (spending cuts) would be done later. Why can't republicans remember that?

    the debt limit has nothing to do with sequestration, but if they fight too hard on the debt limit, the dems can certainly refuse to cooperate on NOT cutting defense. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    January 4, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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