CHICAGO, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama cast his ballot in the Nov.4 midterm election Monday in Chicago as early voting opened in Illinois.
The president said he voted for Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat and one of many incumbents locked in tight races this year. Obama also appeared at Quinn campaign events Sunday and Monday during the overnight trip to his hometown.
Obama voted at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center near his home in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood.
"Exercising our franchise, that's where all us are the same," Obama said.
During a rally Sunday night at Chicago State University, Obama reminded a crowd of about 6,200 people that early voting was set to begin.
"You've got to grab your friends, you've got to grab your co-workers, you know, don't just get the folks who you know are gonna vote, you've got to find cousin Pookie," Obama said. "He's sitting on the couch right now watching football, hasn't voted in the last five elections, you've got to grab him and tell him to go vote."
Obama was to attend a Democratic fund-raiser, then head back to Washington later Monday.
Quinn became governor in 2009 when Rod Blagojevich was forced out of office. He won a full term in 2010 in one of the closest gubernatorial races in U.S. history.
This year, he is locked in another tight race with Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.