President Obama asked to show ID while voting

The nation’s First Voter has cast his ballot – and, once again, made history.

President Obama voted about 5:20 p.m. at a community center in his hometown of Chicago, punching his choices into a touch-screen machine after signing forms and showing his driver’s license. He is the first president to vote before election day.

"Now ignore the fact that there's no gray hair on that picture," Obama cracked to an election official. "I'm just glad I renewed my driver's license."

Obama declined to reveal his choice for president, a subject of much humor over the past two days during his marathon swing state campaign blitz. “I can’t tell you who I’m going to vote for because it’s a secret ballot,’’ he joked earlier Thursday at a rally in Richmond, Va., drawing laughter from the crowd. “But the good news is, Michelle said she voted for me. She did.’’

In a short pitch he made in Chicago for early voting, Obama emphasized its ease and efficiency. “For all of you who have not yet early voted, I just want everybody to see what an incredibly efficient process this was,’’ he said. “…If something happens on election day you will have already taken care of it. If it’s bad weather you won’t get wet. Or in Chicago, snowy. But this was really convenient.’’

But there was also a political incentive: campaign officials said Obama's own vote was part of their strategy to take advantage of the growing trend of early voting and rally his supporters to the polls. “All across the country we’re seeing a lot of early voting,’’ the president said.

Jerry Markon covers the Department of Homeland Security for the Post’s National Desk. He also serves as lead Web and newspaper writer for major breaking national news.

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