CHICAGO — President Obama voted Friday in downtown Chicago moments after telling a group of wealthy Democratic donors that the “stakes could not be higher” in November.

Obama cast his ballot in an early-voting center in his home town after greeting poll workers and thanking them for an “outstanding job.”

“We appreciate you. ... Now what's my date of birth? Eight-four-eighty-one?” joked the president, who was born in 1961.

“Nice try,” a pollworker said.

“I'm just kidding,” Obama laughed. “Shaving a couple decades off.”

As Obama filled out his ballot, a reporter asked him who he was voting for. He continued looking at his ballot for a moment, then glanced up and flashed a smile.

At one point the president looked over at the group of reporters who follow him whenever he travels and asked teasingly as he pretended to obstruct their view, "Now they can’t see me, can they?"

Earlier in the day, before leaving the White House, Obama said he would “probably do early voting.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be voting, man,” he told a reporter. “I’m gonna be doing a little campaigning and a little voting, too.”

It's the third time Obama has cast an early vote as president in his home town. He previously took advantage of in-person early voting in 2012 and 2014.

Both the president and the first lady are registered to vote in Chicago. Their older daughter, Malia, however, registered to vote in the District earlier this year and cast a ballot in Washington's Democratic primary in June.

Obama voted about 2:30 p.m. after leaving a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the North Side home of megadonor Fred Eychaner.

There, he urged patrons of the high-dollar fundraiser luncheon — tickets started at $10,000 — to support Democratic candidates up and down the ballot by being “cheerful givers.”

Congressional leaders in attendance included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the DCCC chairman.

Obama immediately departed the voting site for a second fundraiser, to benefit Clinton's presidential campaign.

“And when I say I'm confident, I'm not overconfident,” Obama told the group about Clinton's chances. “So we've still got a lot of work to do, and nobody knows that more than she does.”

The president detailed the work his administration had done on such issues as early-childhood education, renewable energy and the economy.

“So across the board, whatever your issue, the stakes could not be higher, and I hope that all of you feel that same sense of urgency,” he said.

Eilperin reported from Washington.