North Carolina voters go to the polls on Tuesday evening to weigh in on a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions, and polls show it is likely to pass. Over the weekend, a Public Policy Polling survey found that 55 percent of North Carolina voters favor the amendment (just 39 percent oppose it).
The vote comes just days after Vice President Joe Biden and Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan both came out openly in favor of gay marriage, the highest ranking officials in the administration to do so.
PolicyMic will be live blogging the North Carolina primary. Polls close at 7:30pm EST. Refresh this page for live updates.
UPDATES: 9:27 PM: Now 47% reporting, Romney with 65.6% of the vote, Paul 10.9%. Amendment One looks certain to pass, with 60% support.
8:58 PM: On the ground update from Phil Stanley: "Based on the NC results, the people want more of the same. They are electing career politicians as usual and wonder why this country is in such a mess. It’s amazing how the son-in-law of Sue Myrick gets elected to the first ever office he runs for."
8:08 PM: Mitt Romney leading with 67.8% of the vote, still only 3% reporting.
7:40 PM Results starting to trickle in, with Romney currently at 64.9 percent and Ron Paul at 8.6 percent. Still less than 1% reporting.
7:15 PM On the ground report from Phil Stanley: Very low turnout, not much excitement, rain is keeping voters away form the polls.
"I know a lot of people who are excited about Ron Paul. Most people I talk with just think Romney is more of the same."
5:15PM The gay marriage amendment is driving enthusiasm and turnout at the polls. Nearly half a million people voted early in North Carolina — more than did in the 2008 presidential election.
BACKGROUND: If the NC Marriage Amendment passes, North Carolina will become the last Southern state to make gay marriage unconstitutional. While most North Carolina voters support civil unions, less than half realized they would be outlawed by the initiative.
North Carolina already bans gay marriage by statute. Amendment One would enshrine in the state constitution that marriage between a man and a woman is “the only domestic legal union” recognized in the state.
In March, the National Organization for Marriage was exposed for seeking to drive a wedge between African-Americans and gay rights groups in North Carolina. The state is 21 percent black.
A competitive Democratic gubernatorial primary to replace the retiring Democratic governor Bev Perdue is also bringing voters to the polls. Perdue called Amendment One "our Rosa Parks moment" in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd.
Governor: Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and former congressman Bob Etheridge are battling to face off against former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory (R).
For more details on polling places, voting districts, and times, see here.