First Lady focuses on early voting at UNI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

First Lady focuses on early voting at UNI

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

First lady Michele Obama focused on early voting and women voters during her speech at the University of Northern Iowa on Friday.

She noted early voting had begun in Iowa as she encouraged students to cast their ballots before Election Day.

Michelle Obama spoke to about 2,500 people on the Cedar Falls campus.

Referring to early voting, which began Thursday in Iowa, Obama told the crowd, "here in this state it is already Election Day."

Iowa is among nine states where Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are spending the vast majority of their campaign travel time and money. Obama, Romney and groups supporting them have spent more than $50 million on Iowa advertising.

Iowa is the first of the battleground states to begin voting, accepting absentee ballots and allowing in-person voting at elections offices and satellite sites.

UNI students, Renesha Hill and Kelsey Soska took a big step Friday..

"When Obama was first in office I was only 17 so I'm excited this being my first time to vote," said Hill.

"I'm really excited this is my first time voting because I was pretty young when he was in office," said Soska

Hill is interested in what President Obama will do with student loans. She was raised by a single mom and pays for a majority of her education.

"Pay is hard for my parents and then they try to help me so as much as they can so it gets hard," said Hill.

She's not alone, hundreds of students are in her shoes, needing help to pay for college. First Lady Michelle Obama says she and her husband understand the struggle.

"In fact when we were first married our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than out mortgage. Believe me when it comes to student debt Barack and I have been there. This is not hypothetical and that's why Barack fought to double funding for Pell Grants and keep interest rates down," said First Lady Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama said she knows this is going to be a close race. She reminded the crowd, her husband only won Iowa by 147,000 votes. If you break that down, that's only about 87 votes per precinct.

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