US President Barack Obama Friday cleared the final hurdle on his way to a second term in office as a joint session of Congress conducted the final counting of electoral votes, DPA reported.
Obama captured 332 of 538 electoral votes, compared with 206 cast for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to the public counting of documents submitted by the 50 states.
"This announcement shall be deemed sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States," Vice President Joe Biden announced at the gathering. As vice president, Biden presides over the Senate.
Biden also received 332 votes as vice president, over Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's 206 votes.
The event is the final quirk in the country's indirect election system.
Though the US is considered the world's pre-eminent democracy, the American people do not directly elect their president. Instead, the US Constitution calls for states to choose electors who do the actual electing. It's known as the Electoral College.
Each state is allotted electors equal to their Congressional delegations - meaning there are 538 electors total (435 representatives and 100 senators, plus three for the District of Columbia). A candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes to win.
In 48 US states, the candidate with the most popular votes - by even the slimmest margin - wins all the state's electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska allot electoral votes by who won particular congressional districts.
Obama clinched 51 per cent of the popular vote, giving him a 3-point margin over Romney. In the electoral college, he carried nearly 62 per cent.
Obama will be formally inaugurated on January 20 at a private ceremony. Because January 20 falls on a Sunday this year, the swearing-in before the public masses on the Washington mall will take place on Monday, January 21.