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Electoral College Makes Vote Official -- Dec. 12, 1996

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Clinton's Victory Becomes Official Thursday

By Louise Schiavone/CNN


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 8) -- The 1996 presidential election ain't over 'till it's over, and it'll be over Thursday. The House and Senate will convene in joint session then to count the election's electoral votes.

Vice President Al Gore, as presiding officer of the Senate, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich will preside over the constitutionally required count.

The "certificates of electors," in two locked mahogany boxes, are carried into the chamber by two pages.

They are delivered to the desk of the presiding officer, the vice president, who hands them in alphabetical order (beginning with Alabama) to one of four "tellers" -- two members of the House and two senators. These tellers alternately report out loud as to the authenticity and number of votes designated on the certificate to each candidate for president and vice president.

Finally, the tellers compare tallies, and give them to the presiding officer for his announcement to the joint session.

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