Obama Declared Winner in Florida
President Barack Obama has won Florida's 29 electoral votes, it was announced Saturday, further adding to his victory over Mitt Romney.
The Sunshine State was the last to report its tally from the November 6 election, in which Obama won a second term, defeating his Republican rival Romney, AFP reported.
With Florida's electoral college votes now in the Democratic incumbent's column, the final total was 332 for Obama and 206 for Romney.
Obama earned 50 percent of the vote to Romney's 49.1 percent, about 74,000 more votes among more than eight million ballots cast, according to county tallies reported by AFP.
Florida was arguably the most coveted prize on election day, with more electoral college votes up for grabs than any of the other so-called swing states.
In 2000, Democrat Al Gore, who won the U.S. popular vote, lost the election to Republican George W. Bush, who triumphed under the electoral college system when a divided U.S. Supreme Court stopped a ballot recount in Florida.
This time around, however, Florida did not play a pivotal role in the national race as Obama earned enough electoral college votes even without the state, to pass the 270 threshold needed for victory.
Governor Rick Scott said the turnout in his state had reached record levels, but said the long delays must not be repeated.
There were "more votes cast than in any other election in state history," Scott said in a statement quoted by AFP on Saturday.
"We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process."
He said he had asked top officials at the state and county level to review election procedures, "especially those who ran elections in counties where voters experienced long lines of four hours or more."
On Thursday, Romney's senior campaign adviser in Florida hinted that he lost the state, even though a final result was not yet declared.
As the results of the election came in on Tuesday night, Romney at first would not concede to Obama, saying he did not agree with the declaration that the president had won the swing state of Ohio.
Eventually, however, Romney conceded the election to Obama. The popular vote difference across the U.S. was only an insignificant 0.3%, reported Fox News, a number which probably would have resulted in a recount if not for the electoral college system.
On Friday, in his first speech since being re-elected, Obama claimed a mandate to raise taxes on the rich to pay for deficit reductions, firing his first post-election shot in a year-end budget showdown with Republicans.
"We can't just cut our way to prosperity. If we are serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue, and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes," he said.