KESHENA, Wis.óSen. Barack Obama captured the majority of votes cast by the 440 voters who turned out on the Menominee Reservation in Tuesday's Wisconsin primary, skimming past Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton by 16 votes.
Off the reservation, the Wisconsin contest was not as close: The Illinois senator beat Clinton 58 percent to 41 percent, weakening the New York senator's hopes for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Issues that compelled Menominee voters to the polls were on the domestic front, concerns that directly impact Native Americans such as health care, education, employmentóand Indian gaming.
But it was the gaming issue that was on the forefront of many voters' minds.
Keshena resident Lynn Skenedore made no secret whom she was voting for: She wore a bold blue Clinton sticker on her jacket.
"Number one, she supports Indian gaming," Skenedore said. "I believe she has the experience, she's the best qualified candidate for Indian people. Obama doesn't believe that Indian gaming is a way for economic development."
Some voters admitted that they had no intention to come out to cast their vote but, at the behest of family members, made their way to the polling stations.
Roberta Perez, 32, said she wanted to set a good example for her 14-year-old daughter Tyler, who has been asking her numerous questions about the campaign and has been following campaign developments on the news.
"I didn't think I was coming out to vote, but my daughter and my nephew kept telling me to come, so I voted for Hillary," Perez said. "She's in favor of Indian gaming, and I like her stance on health and education.
"This was the first time I voted in a presidential election and my daughter is excited that she'll be able to vote the next time presidential elections come around, so I'll be voting with her next time," Perez said.
Leon Fowler, 33, of Keshena said he agreed with his aunt who suggested he come cast his vote for Clinton specifically because Obama was opposed to off-reservation gaming.
One voter, who made her way to the United States escaping the perils of World War II from her native country of Latvia, now makes her home on the Menominee Reservation.
Ilze Zvaigzne, 72, said she usually votes as a Republican, but her concerns that jobs are being sent to overseas markets compelled her to vote for Obama.
"It's a long time since we've been sending out our jobs overseas," Zvaigzne said. "Here on the reservation there are problems with unemployment. Obama, I think, will do a better job than any of the old people like the Clintons. Mrs. Clinton comes with a heap of baggage so that's why I'm here supporting Obama."