Electoral College affirms Obama's re-election

Associated Press
Members of Vermont's electoral college take their oath of office on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 in Montpelier, Vt. The three Vermonters have cast the state's votes in the Electoral College that will formally elect President Barack Obama to a second term. Vermont was the first state whose electoral votes were placed in the column of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. From left, Sherry Merrick of Post Mills, William Sander of Jeffersonville and State Rep. Kevin Christie of Hartford.  (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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Members of Vermont's electoral college take their oath of office on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 in Montpelier, Vt. The three Vermonters have cast the state's votes in the Electoral College that will formally elect President Barack Obama to a second term. Vermont was the first state whose electoral votes were placed in the column of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. From left, Sherry Merrick of Post Mills, William Sander of Jeffersonville and State Rep. Kevin Christie of Hartford. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tradition has trumped suspense as members of the Electoral College cast the final, official votes in the presidential election.

Though just a constitutional formality, President Barack Obama officially marched to a second term on Monday as electors voted.

Obama had well more than the 270 votes required to win the White House. California's 55 electoral votes — the largest cache in any state — helped put the Democratic president over the top by late Monday afternoon.

The rite played out in state capitols involved party luminaries and tireless activists carrying out the will of their state's voters. The popular vote from state-to-state dictates whether Democratic and Republican electors get the honor. But the outcome wasn't in doubt.

Obama is on course to get 332 votes to Romney's 206, barring defectors.

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