Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Obama Casts Ballot With Wife and Daughters

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- Barack Obama brought his two young daughters to the ballot box Tuesday as he cast a vote in the election he hopes will make them the first black family to occupy the White House.

The Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Michelle, were among the first to vote after polls opened Tuesday at Chicago's Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School. They cast paper ballots in side-by-side booths with 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha looking on.

The family was ushered inside ahead of a line of their Hyde Park neighbors that wrapped around the block and cheered upon their arrival. Fellow voters inside watched in silence and snapped cell-phone pictures.

Obama kissed the cheek of the poll worker who took his ballot, then watched while she fed it into a machine. The crowd broke into applause when a smiling Obama held up his validation slip for the media and said, "I voted."

Obama voted a few minutes after William Ayers, the 1960s radical who lives in the neighborhood and whom Republicans tried to link to Obama in the campaign. Ayers did not answer a question about how he voted from reporters waiting inside for Obama's arrival.

Afterward, Obama headed for a final campaign stop in Indiana to encourage voters in the Republican-leaning state to support the Democratic candidate from next door. He planned his voting-day game of basketball with friends and staff - a habit he liked to stick to in the primaries for good luck - before watching returns at a Chicago hotel room.

After the race is called, he planned to address supporters from a stage built especially for the occasion in Chicago's Grant Park.


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