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Rocking the vote 

Charlotte voters head to the polls

The fate of the Democratic Party's nominee for the president of the United States rests in the hands of North Carolina's voters.

That's a bit of an overstatement, but the results of the Democratic primary in North Carolina will play a huge role in who will face the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain, in the general election in November.

Oh, and in North Carolina there are several other races, including U.S. Senate, governor and Mecklenburg County commissioner. But the main event on May 6 is Sen. Barack Obama versus Sen. Hillary Clinton.

From the Obama Camp:

Nick Mentzer: "I think I'm leaning more towards Barack Obama. I think it's more of a character issue with me more than anything else. I think he's more for real. I think he's more genuine."

Randy Milledge: "I'm for Barack Obama. This is the first time in my life where I am seeing a black man reach the pinnacle. He's about to do something for the human race other than show how black people are usually incarcerated. It's not only the color factor. It's like he says, it's time for a change."

Melissa Vian: "He's one of the most genuine candidates I've seen in a long time. He's articulate and intelligent. The things the he says, I think he can back up with actual actions."

From the Clinton Camp:

Paola Filippazzo: "It's going to be Clinton. I really believe she's going to be the best for the job. I think she has the experience, she's very tenacious and I don't think she's going to be intimidated easily. I really think she can do it."

Renee Elam: "I have read and followed all of the issues and where she stands on all of them. While I can't say I am 100 percent convinced of anybody's views on anything, I just think she comes closest to what I would do. And, also, I think she would be the most effective candidate in office. Her stand on foreign policy is very important. Her interest in regular everyday people, she takes a real concern in everyday issues."

But not all voters have made up their minds on who they're going to vote for. These voters were still on the fence last week:

Sue McCullough: "I'm still not really sure. I'm not 100 percent sold on [John] McCain, but I'm going to vote for the best. I'm still searching. I usually wait until the last day before and read what they say because a lot of times they say something that either turns me on or turn me off to them."

Jan Kinslowe: "I'm really torn. What I like about Obama is the way he jumps on Exxon. We haven't seen that ever before. I was really pretty much Hillary in the beginning. My big issues is health care because I've had some health issues and I don't know if I'd be able to get coverage if my situation were to change. That's a big deal for me. But I'll know what to do when the time comes."

No matter whom voters are supporting, they agree on one thing. It's special that North Carolina is playing such a large role in who's going to run for president.

Typically, both parties would have their nomination ready by now, but the race between Clinton and Obama is a tight one.

Vian says that it is special that North Carolina has a big voice: "It's neat that we have the opportunity to do that."

Kinslowe says the main thing is that a Democrat is voted into the White House in November: "If Obama has a better chance of winning against McCain, then why torture ourselves over it?"

Check the Mecklenburg County Board of Election's site, www.meckboe.org, for where to vote before May 6.

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