Washington: US President Barack Obama was officially declared winner of November presidential elections as votes of the electoral college were tallied and certified by a joint session of the Congress on Friday.
While Obama and Vice President Joe Biden received 332 Electoral College votes, the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, and his running mate, Paul Ryan received 206 votes.
This was the formal culmination of the presidential election process.
After the November 6 presidential elections, member of the electoral colleges met in their respective States in December and voted for their candidates and sent the results to the US Congress.
The US Congress today in a joint session tallied those numbers and certified the results.
Since this was just a formality, not many Congressmen were present during the joint session.
In fact there were more people in the gallery than members of the Congress during the process which took about 30 minutes.
The joint session of the US Congress was presided over the Vice President Biden.
According to Politico, the ballots arrived in the House chamber in locked wooden boxes, held together with aged leather straps, that were proceeded in by student pages.
Staff used ceremonial letter openers to excise each form from its envelope, it said.
The numbers were read by Senators Chuck Schumer and Lamar Alexander; and Congressmen Candice Miller and Kevin Brady.
Biden read out the final results and declared that his announcement "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," The Hill reported.
According to Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC), this is the seventh time in US history that the constitutionally mandated Inauguration date has fallen on a Sunday.
The last time was for President Ronald Reagan`s second Inauguration in 1985. When this occurs, the public ceremonies traditionally are held on Monday.
In addition, January 21, 2013 is Martin Luther King, Jr Day. It will be the second time that this federal holiday has coincided with a Presidential Inauguration. The first was President Bill Clinton`s second Inauguration in 1997.