This was the formal culmination of the presidential election process.
After the November 6 elections, member of the electoral colleges met in their respective States in December and voted for their candidates and sent the results to the US Congress.
The US Congress in a joint session tallied those numbers and certified the results.
Since this was just a formality, not many Congressmen were present during the joint session on Saturday.
In fact there were more people in the gallery than members of the Congress during the process which took about 30 minutes. The joint session of the US Congress was presided over by Vice President Biden.
According to Politico, the ballots arrived in the House chamber in locked wooden boxes, held together with aged leather straps, that were proceeded in by student pages.
Staff used ceremonial letter openers to excise each form from its envelope, it said.
The numbers were read by Senators Chuck Schumer and Lamar Alexander and Congressmen Candice Miller and Kevin Brady.
Biden read out the final results and declared that his announcement "shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2013," The Hill reported.