Obama casts early ballot in Chicago with less than two weeks to go

CHICAGO (CNN) -- President Barack Obama made a brief stop in Chicago Thursday, October 25th to cast his presidential ballot, 12 days ahead of Election Day.

He entered the Martin Luther King Community Center around 4:10 p.m. local time, shaking hands with poll workers and telling them he appreciated their work. After filling out the requisite paperwork, and presenting a photo ID ("Notice there's no grey in that picture"), he walked over to the electronic voting machine and made his selections.

Chatting with the workers at his polling station, Obama talked up the benefits of voting early, saying people "don't have to take time off work, they can arrange it around their schedule."

Obama is the first presidential candidate to vote early, and his stop at the polling center reflects his campaign's push to get supporters to cast ballots ahead of November 6. In an email to supporters Thursday morning, Obama wrote "This afternoon, I'm casting my ballot in my hometown of Chicago. I'm told I'll be the first sitting president to take advantage of early voting. And I can't wait," before encouraging recipients to also register and vote early.

"For all of you who have not yet early voted, I just wanted you to see how efficient a process this was," the president said on his way out.

"I can't tell you who I voted for," he added.