Obama returns to Chicago as voters head to polls

Election Day has arrived, and President Barack Obama has returned to Chicago for what he hopes will be a victory celebration tonight.

After watching the results come in, the president is expected to address supporters tonight at a McCormick Place rally. In between, Obama plans to continue his tradition of playing basketball on Election Day, a campaign aide said, and will have dinner with his family at their Kenwood home.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, will be holding an Election Night rally in Boston.

Polls are open across Illinois and will remain open through 7 p.m. tonight.

Early Friday morning, Obama went to the local Hyde Park campaign field office, where he greeted about 30 volunteers with hugs and smiles and began making surprise calls to Wisconsin campaign volunteers to thank them for their hard work during the election.

President Obama then addressed the media, thanking local Chicago families for welcoming his family into their home, before leaving about 9:20 a.m. for the Fairmont Hotel downtown, where he had scheduled interviews this afternoon.

As he exited the campaign spot, the president greeted a small group of supporters who stood outside and cheered. One gave him a small shoe to autograph.

Students outside Kenwood Academy  High School shouted and waved enthusiastically from across the street.

"You guys got to go back to class," Obama joked.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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