Hillary Clinton addresses crowd at Johnson C. Smith University

Published: Sep. 8, 2016 at 11:47 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2016 at 5:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed the crowd at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte Thursday afternoon.

Clinton was expected to speak around noon at the university's Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium, but arrived closer to 1 p.m. due to a disabled plane on the runway.

Clinton started by addressing voting issues in the state, saying she plans to expand early voting. North Carolina often set the standard for moving people into the future, Clinton said, putting "emphasis on job creation and innovation."

"Now North Carolina has been trying to restrict people's right to vote," Clinton continued. The crowd booed. "The federal court just struck down this state's voter ID law."

Clinton praised the recent federal court ruling that struck down key portions of North Carolina's 2013 voter identification and ballot access law. She promised to expand early voting and called for universal voter registration.

She said such laws discriminated against minorities, calling them "a blast from the Jim Crow past."

Clinton moved on to her focus on making college affordable for students and paying down debt. Clinton said she would work to raise the national minimum wage. "And we're finally going to guarantee equal pay for women's work," Clinton said to what sounded like a cheerful crowd.

As expected, Clinton brought up her opponent. "He's temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief," Clinton said of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"I respect the men and women who put their lives on the line for the country that I love," Clinton said, easing into the anniversary of September 11, which is this weekend. "I will never forget the horror of that day."

This was Clinton's third time in Charlotte in the past two months.

Campus police say a handful of people showed up at the university around 3:30 Thursday morning to get a seat. People were allowed to come into the gym when doors opened around 10 a.m. University officials said the gym holds about 1300 people.

Two overflow rooms were setup to hold an additional 850 people.

Lots of students in the gym were waiting to hear Clinton speak. Miracle McPherson, who graduates in 2019, showed up to hear Clinton speak to the students.

"What more is she going to do for us," she said. "And help students succeed so I can keep her at her word when she wins."

McPherson says she likes Clinton. "I like the fact she is honest," McPherson said. "And cares about everyone."

Outside the gym, there were several stations where people could register to vote and buy Clinton paraphernalia.

Clinton wrapped up the event just before 1:30 p.m. "Let's build a future where we're stronger together. Thank you," Clinton said.

Clinton is also expected to attend a private fundraiser in Myers Park.

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