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What Happens Next in the Election Process

Voting has come and gone, and President Obama was declared the winner of the 2012 Presidential election.

But there’s still a lot of behind-the-scenes work that takes place before the election results are 100 percent official.

Here’s a look at what happens between now and the inauguration:

Between now and December 17:

The governors of all of the states must certify the election results, and provide copies of the Certificates of Ascertainment to the Archivist of the United States and your state’s electors.

December 17:

Electors meet in their state and cast their ballots for the President and Vice President. A copy of these votes is sent to the Vice President for the official count in Congress. The votes must be received by December 26.

January 6:

Congress meets in a joint session to officially count the electoral votes. As President of the Senate, the Vice President oversees the process and announces the final results.

January 20:

January 20 is the official day of the inauguration, however, this year because it falls on a Sunday, the public swearing in ceremony will be held on Monday, January 21, 2013.

Learn more about what happens between the election and the inauguration.