President Barack Obama on Thursday will make history when he briefly returns to Chicago and becomes the first sitting U.S. president to vote early.
According to NBC Chicago, Obama is scheduled to land in Air Force One at 3:40 p.m. at O’Hare International Airport, after which he will head to an early voting location near his South Side home, ABC Chicago reports.
With the Nov. 6 election just around the corner, Obama traveled 5,500 miles campaigning on Wednesday ahead of the brief touch down on his home turf.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel told CBS Chicago that Obama’s early vote in Chicago will send a strong message.
“First of all, it will remind everybody, Chicago and Illinois is his home; in case they’ve forgotten,” the mayor told CBS. “Second is I think a very important message, which we always say here in the city of Chicago: vote early. We also say something else, but at least in this case, vote early.”
Early voting began Monday in Illinois and, as of earlier this week, Cook County had already seen a record number of residents voting early. ABC reports that election officials hope a quarter of this year’s ballots will be cast prior to election day.
Beyond Thursday, Obama will be back in Chicago for his 2012 election night rally at McCormick Place.