RALEIGH -- Voters across the state can head to the polls. The early voting for the primary election begins Thursday.
From selecting the Republican presidential nominee to choosing the new state governor, there's a lot of races that will likely drive voters to the polls. And, North Carolinians who did not register already will still be able to vote during the early voting period.
Voters can cast their ballots in the primary election after three nights of debates by the front runners in the Democratic race for governor.
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, state Rep. Bill Faison and former Congressman Bob Etheridge are all hoping to fill Gov. Perdue's seat. It's likely that the winner of that race could face the well-known Republican candidate for governor, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. There are 13 candidates in the governor's race.
Another hot issue on the ballot is the Marriage Amendment, which would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman and would ban all civil unions, including same sex marriages. Opponents of the amendment call it unconstitutional.
"The legislature, nor the state should be allowing people to vote in the majority on the rights of a minority," said Rev. William Barber, the president of the NAACP. "That's what the constitution protects you against."
But supporters of the amendment says it protects the sanctity of marriage.
"Fortunately, 62 percent of the voters in our state already agree with the ballot language and agree that marriage is the union between one man and one woman," said Tami Fitzgerald from Vote for Marriage NC.
One stop voting ends on Saturday, May 5. Election Day is May 8.