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Obama Casts Vote, Becomes First President To Cast His Ballot Early

President Obama casts his early ballot on at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Chicago.
Mandel Ngan
AFP/Getty Images
President Obama casts his early ballot on at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Chicago.

Update at 5:19 p.m. ET. Obama Votes In Chicago:

After joking with some of the poll workers in Chicago, President Obama cast his ballot today, becoming the first president in history to vote early.

When Obama handed his license to the poll worker, he joked that they should ignore the fact that he has no grey hair in the picture. The poll worker actually checked if the picture on his ID matched the face.

After geting a little help to finalize his electronic vote, Obama said his vote showed just how easy and convenient the process was.

"I can't tell you who I voted for," Obama said to laughs.

Our Original Post Continues:

President Obama will take a moment from his current campaign schedule to cast his ballot in his hometown of Chicago today. First lady Michelle Obama also voted early, sending her ballot by mail Wednesday.

The vote will make Obama the first president in history to cast an early ballot.

In an email to reporters, the Obama campaign said the president was voting early "to promote the ease, convenience, and importance of voting."

USA Today adds that the president pushed early voting during his campaign stops today. The paper reports:

"After the Virginia strop, Obama planned to set an example by flying to Chicago to cast his own early ballot.

"'I can't tell you who I'm voting for — it"s a secret ballot,' Obama joked in Virginia, the sixth of eight stops on his national tour. But he added that another early voter — first lady Michelle Obama — 'said she voted for me.'"

As with everything this close to a general election, the politics of Obama's early vote are being dissected.

The Hill, for example, points out that the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign are bickering over who has the advantage so far in early voting. The Obama campaign issued a memo "claiming to be well ahead of Romney among early voters in the critical battleground state of Ohio."

The Republican National Committee responded by saying the memo was "panicked" and "argued that Republicans have been shrinking the president's lead in Ohio early voting."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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