CHICAGO (CBS) — President Barack Obama cast an early ballot for the Nov. 6 election during a brief visit to his hometown of Chicago on Thursday.

Obama arrived aboard Air Force One shortly before 3:30 p.m. at O’Hare International Airport, where he was met by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his former White House chief of staff. He was off to his next campaign stop in Ohio at 6 p.m.

In between, the first-term president went to a Bronzeville polling place to cast an early ballot, as scores of Chicagoans have done since Monday. Obama had to show his driver’s license to a judge before voting.

“Ignore the fact there’s no gray hair in that picture,” he joked.

Later, the president stopped at his campaign’s Hyde Park office to call a volunteer in a battleground state.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Emanuel said earlier Thursday the president’s trip home to cast his ballot stresses the importance of exercising the right to vote.

“I think it’s important across the country, as I see the president vote early, that people who are making big decisions in this upcoming presidential election never forget their responsibility to vote,” Emanuel said.

The mayor said, if nothing else, the president’s vote will be a definite Democratic vote in this very blue state, but he also said it sends a message.

“First of all, it will remind everybody, Chicago and Illinois is his home; in case they’ve forgotten. And we’re proud to call President Obama and [First Lady] Michelle Obama residents of the city of Chicago, and the state of Illinois,” Emanuel said. “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.”

The mayor said he will also vote early, although not today.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports