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Sen. Mark Kirk visits with House Speaker John Boehner

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House Speaker John Boehner greets Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) prior to the start of a Joint Session of Congress. January 4, 2013. (Official Photo by Bryant Avondoglio)

WASHINGTON-- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was greeted by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) near the House chamber on Friday, before Congress met in a joint session to officially count the electoral votes. Kirk returned to the Senate on Thursday following nearly a year absence due to his stroke.

I watched some of the joint session from the House Gallery on Friday and was struck that in this era of e-mail, the official proclamations from each state were printed certificates of electoral votes on legal blue backs. It took only about 30 minutes for the tally, with 270 to win.

President Barack Obama of the State of Illinois and Vice President Joe Biden 332 electoral votes.

Republicans Mitt Romney of the State of Massachusett and his running mate Paul Ryan 206 votes.

Spotted on the House floor: Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), sworn-in on Thursday.

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