WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will cast his ballot early in Chicago, his home state of Illinois on Thursday afternoon, the first time that a sitting U.S. president would vote early in person, said the Obama campaign spokeswoman.
"The President will be early voting today in Chicago. This is the first time a sitting President is early voting in person," said Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, during Thursday's press gaggle aboard Air Force One en route Richmond Virginia.
The Obama campaign said early voting has been crucial to its get-out-the-vote efforts, trying to outperform the Republican presidential ticket on the ground particularly in key swing states.
"This is a major part of our on-the-ground program and focus, and we hope that having the President do this today will send a message to people across the country, in states where early vote is an option, that this is something they should do, too," said Psaki.
"This afternoon, I'm casting my ballot in my hometown of Chicago," wrote an email by the Obama campaign sent to supporters earlier Thursday, "I'm told I'll be the first sitting president to take advantage of early voting."
The email also noted that effectively getting people out to vote, of which early voting is a huge part, would be even more critical in this year's "extremely tight race" than four years ago.
Psaki also told reporters that the Obama campaign has so far out-performed in key states compared to their own in 2008 and ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney right now.
Obama, on a blitz campaign tour in key swing states like Virginia and Ohio on Thursday, currently holds advantage over Romney in early voting numbers. A Time Magazine poll released Thursday showed the incumbent led Romney two-to-one among respondents in top battleground Ohio who say they have already voted.