Congress formally counted the electoral votes on Thursday and declared Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina National Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo MORE to be the next president of the United States.

In a joint session of the House and Senate, Vice President Dick Cheney read off the Electoral College results: 365 for Obama and 173 for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The college had met last month in state capitols to cast its votes for president. The Constitution requires the electors to send the results to the Senate president, Cheney. Thursday's event in the House served as occasion for Cheney to announce those results.

Cheney was flanked on the dais by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who led enthusiastic standing ovations for Obama, McCain, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska).