Friday ceremony makes presidential results official
January 4th, 2013
02:12 PM ET
10 years 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.

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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. Kweso

    My top priority during this congress is to make Barack Obama a two-term president....John Boehner.

    January 4, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Jimmy from America

    In your face, stupid Republicans.

    January 4, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "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!"

    Haha...I thought it was his pretty new tea party set! He's so adorable when he plays pretend....

    January 4, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Sam wrote:

    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.
    Oh! They actually admit that it was rigged. So, they believe that they Democrats outrigged them. That's pathetic. Not even worth a chuckle.

    January 4, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Shaun

    Republicans own the country – why so sad, libs? Shine my shoes, boy.

    January 4, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Shaun

    Did you see how many white people voted against obama?

    Interesting huh? Have you ever met a straight white liberal? Didn't think so. Republicans don't have a minority problem anymore. Democrats have a white problem. oops.

    January 4, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. secProgressive Lady/patricia

    Kudos to both men, the right men for the job.Thank God we didnt need the Supreme Court to select our President this time!

    January 4, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. JPX

    I'm so pleased the I will never have to hear the words, "President Romney". I never get tired of hearing about the landslide defeat of the horrible GOP. Evil lost!

    January 4, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    Is it my imagination or does Boehner look like Frank Burns?

    Speaker Ferret-Face?

    January 4, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC


    It's not the president we dont like, it's his liberal agenda that has divided and weakened our nation on many fronts...sheeple!
    First of all, name calling is an automatic forfeit. Second of all, why are you calling tax cuts a "liberal agenda"?

    As far as a divided nation goes, I think you're correct, but only when it comes to the right wing. They don't know how to get off the proverbial pot. They're so divided in the House that their own Speaker cannot get them to agree on anything, not even something simple like his hand crafted Plan B.

    January 4, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Isn't Florida still recounting votes? Yup.

    January 4, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Danarius

    Wheh my damn Bama Phone at? I ain't axing again!

    January 4, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Danarius

    Wheh my Bama Phone at? I ain't axing fo it again!

    January 4, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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