Obama casts early vote during Chicago visit

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Wahington, Oct 8 (IANS) US President Barack Obama cast an early vote in his hometown Chicago to elect his successor to the White House amid a fundraising event for his party.

Obama rushed into the basement of the Chicago Board of Elections office to vote on Friday afternoon. “You guys are doing a wonderful job. Appreciate ya,” the President told about a dozen poll workers as he filled out his ballot, Politico reported.

“What’s my date of birth? 8/4/81?” he joked. After a poll worker said, “Nice try!” Obama explained that he was “having just a couple of decades off”

As he completed his ballot, Obama looked back and quipped, “They can’t see who I’m voting for, can they?”

The early-voting stop was an interlude between fundraising stops in Chicago that launched a homecoming weekend for the President, Chicago Tribune reported.

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Obama revealed his voting plans on Friday morning after being briefed on Hurricane Matthew. He has spent recent weeks advocating for early voting and a robust turnout, arguing that just booing the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trum is not enough.

On Sunday he will be taking part in a fundraising event for Democratic US Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth before returning to Washington.

During a high-dollar fundraising event held at the North Side home of Democratic megadonor Fred Eychaner and featuring Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Obama told the approximately 50 people attending that a Democratic takeover of the Republican-controlled House on November 8 might be achievable.

When reporters asked him about his vote, Obama “smirked.” and did not name anyone.

However, he had made it clear earlier in the day that he’s betting on Clinton to succeed him at the White House and continue the reforms he has been unable to complete, due in part to the Republican domination of Congress that has made it impossible, for example, to pass immigration reform.

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“I’m confident that we will have an incredibly capable successor in the White House, by the name of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” Obama said elsewhere on Friday.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, and nobody knows that more than she does,” Obama said.

The President’s early vote serves to promote the idea of early voting in general, a possibility offered by most states as voting by mail or personally at the polls.

The Clinton team announced on Friday that Obama will campaign for Clinton on next Tuesday in Greensboro, North Carolina, a key state where Africans Americans support Clinton but have big abstention rates, which is why the ex-first lady has tried to push early voting.



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