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Congress certifies Obama Electoral College win

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It’s official: President Obama won re-election.

While the TV news networks called the presidential race in his favor hours after the polls closed Nov. 6, Mr. Obama wasn’t officially declared the winner until Friday afternoon, when a joint session of Congress convened to count and certify the electoral votes.

Law requires the House and Senate meet to do this on Jan. 6 following an election. But since that date falls on a Sunday this year, Congress passed a law allowing it to happen two days earlier.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his constitutional role as Senate president, presided over the vote count in the House chamber, which took about 24 minutes.

Mr. Obama received 332 electoral votes, easily exceeding the 270 needed to win. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney nabbed 206 votes. Those numbers haven’t changed since the president narrowly was declared the winner in Florida four days after the election.

While Friday’s results were undisputed, there has been some drama in recent electoral vote counts.

In 2005, the electoral vote tabulation for President George W. Bush’s re-election win over Democratic Sen. John Kerry was held up when some Democrats forced a debate regarding disputed votes in Ohio. The objections were quickly rejected by both houses of Congress.

Four years earlier, some Democrats also objected to the vote-counting — particularly in Florida — that led to Mr. Bush’s razor-thin victory over Democratic Vice President Al Gore in 2000. Mr. Gore, presiding over the proceedings as Senate president, denied the objections.

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