- - Thursday, October 25, 2012

President Obama, who criticizes Republicans for passing laws requiring voters to show ID, presented his driver’s license at a polling place in Chicago Thursday to vote early.

A pool reporter traveling with the president said he voted on a touch-screen machine after “signing forms and showing his driver’s license” as required by Illinois state law. The president also signed a form canceling his absentee ballot, which he had submitted earlier, to make sure his vote isn’t counted twice.

“Now, ignore the fact that there’s no gray hair on that picture,” Mr. Obama told the elections official. “I’m just glad I renewed my driver’s license.”

The previous night, appearing on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, the president criticized voter ID laws approved by Republicans.

“We should be thinking about ways to make it easier for folks to vote, not to make it harder for folks to vote,” he told Mr. Leno. “That’s why this early voting is really terrific.”

The president, whose campaign is emphasizing early voting, told reporters after voting that the process is “really convenient.”

“All across the country we’re seeing a lot of early voting,” he said. “It means you don’t have to figure out whether you need to take time off work, figure out how to pick up the kids and still cast a ballot. If something happens on Election Day, you will have already taken care of it. If it’s bad weather you won’t get wet.”

The president wouldn’t say who got his vote.

“But, I very much appreciate everybody here. It’s good to be home back in the neighborhood,” he said.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Mourners pay respects at McGovern’s viewing

SIOUX FALLS — Mourners from near and far paused Thursday before the flag-draped coffin of former Sen. George McGovern to pay their respects to the liberal Democrat whose spectacularly failed 1972 bid for president helped reshape his party and who later championed the fight against global hunger.

Mr. McGovern died Sunday at age 90. His funeral is Friday.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who served in the Senate with Mr. McGovern in the 1970s and early 1980s, was among those expected to attend Thursday’s public viewing and prayer service. Most of those who showed up early at the First United Methodist Church were friends, neighbors, constituents or admirers of Mr. McGovern.

Among them was Burton Barnard, a 68-year-old from western Wisconsin. After driving 300 miles, he was toward the front of the line when the church opened for a four-hour viewing period.

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