Former president Barack Obama has answered a jury summons, arriving at a Chicago courthouse to perform the civic duty asked of all Americans - but he was sent home just two hours later.

The former leader of the free world was the only juror to arrive by six-vehicle motorcade, however, accompanied by tight security and met by a throng of news media.

He left his Chicago home in the Kenwood neighbourhood at 9.30am and arrived at the courthouse a half hour layer. His motorcade was made up of four black SUVs, a Chicago police SUV, and an Illinois State Police SUV.

Former President Barack Obama arrives for jury duty in the Daley Center. Photo / AP
Former President Barack Obama arrives for jury duty in the Daley Center. Photo / AP

The ex-president's Secret Service detail parked under the courthouse, and then ferried Obama up to the 17th floor jury assembly room via an elevator usually reserved just for judges.

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When he arrived in the jury room, Obama greeted the other citizens waiting to be selected for a trial - shaking hands and signing books.

Eventually Obama was placed on a jury panel, but when that panel wasn't needed he was allowed to go home. If he decides to remain registered in Chicago, his name won't be called for at least another year.

Like all prospective jurors, Obama earned US$17.20 ($24.70) for his day of service, which is actually pretty good considering he was only there two hours.

Former President Barack Obama arrives for jury duty. Photo / AP
Former President Barack Obama arrives for jury duty. Photo / AP

Before heading to court, the former president took time to tweet about Tuesday night's high-profile state and mayoral election results seen as a sweeping repudiation of the politics of his White House successor Donald Trump.

"This is what happens when the people vote," Obama wrote.

"Every office in a democracy counts!"

Obama is not the first US President to show up for a service that some Americans either dread or find excuses to avoid. Obama's predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush, responded to a jury summons in 2015.