North Carolina's primary election is beginning in earnest as early voting starts after three consecutive nights of debate by the leading Democratic candidates for governor.
Registered voters or people who want to register can turn in a ballot at election offices in all 100 counties starting Thursday. The early-voting period ends the Saturday before primary day May 8.
Voters get to choose a Republican presidential nominee and candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and other Council of State positions. There are also primaries for Congress, the Legislature and judgeships, as well as a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would make traditional marriage the only domestic legal union recognized in the state.
Democrats Walter Dalton, Bob Etheridge and Bill Faison held their third and final live TV debate Wednesday in Raleigh.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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