Associated Press calls race for Sanford

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Poll workers waited outside in dreary weather this morning at Fort Dorchester High School. LESLIE CANTU/JOURNAL SCENE


With all precincts reporting, the Associated Press has called the race for former Governor Mark Sanford. Voter turnout overall was 31.55%. Throughout the district, his vote tally stands at 54.04 percent. In today's First Congressional District race, Mark Sanford has 77,466 votes, or 54.04 percent. Elizabeth Colbert Busch has 64,818 votes or 45.21 percent. Green Party candidate Eugene Platt has 690 votes or .48%. Write in votes accounted for 383 votes or .27%. All counties have completely reported. Berkeley County strongly favored Sanford with 60.87 percent of the vote. Charleston County barely favored Sanford, with 50.21 percent of the vote, while Dorchester County overwhelmingly chose Sanford, with almost 60 percent of the vote. Colleton County also overwhelmingly chose Sanford, with over 69% of the vote. Beaufort County also went for Sanford with almost 53% of the vote. Overall turnout in Dorchester County was 27.11 percent. Berkeley County had a turnout of 27.49 percent.
With less than two hours to go in the First Congressional District race, the most-complained about issue was the fact of Elizabeth Colbert Busch's name appearing on the ballot twice – once for the Democratic party and once for the Working Families party.
A printout at Reeves Elementary School explained that candidates in 2010 and 2012 were also on the ballot with more than one party, and that all votes for an individual are added together, regardless of party.
The voter ID requirement, which has been in place since the beginning of the year, actually made the process easier, several poll workers said.
By scanning the bar code on the back of the driver's license, poll workers immediately pull up the records of an individual voter, rather than having to type in the name and potentially scroll through several individuals with similar or the same names.
Voters offered a variety of reasons for choosing their candidates, but many, whether for or against Mark Sanford, brought up Sanford's personal life as a factor.
Yes, Sanford has “ghosts,” said Larry Rogers at DuBose Middle School, but “that's part of politics.”
“He's made one of the finest governors we've had,” said Joyce Rogers.
Judy Gurevitz, however, couldn't choose Sanford.
“I can't get past what he's done in the past, and the present probably. And I'm normally a Republican,” she said.
Patrick Munroe, however, was disgusted by the negative campaigning he saw coming from Colbert Busch and her supporters and decided to vote for Sanford.
“I was prepared to vote for his opponent until the dirt started spilling out,” he said.
He had hoped for more discussion of the issues, he said.
Poll workers reported steady turnout at the polls earlier today in the First Congressional District race, with Bethany United Methodist Church hitting 18 percent turnout by noon.
Former Gov. Mark Sanford is facing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch – and Green candidate Eugene Platt – in the special election for the seat vacated by Tim Scott when he was appointed to the Senate.
Workers at Dorchester Presbyterian Church said they were hoping for at least 30 percent turnout by the end of the day.
“We're going to have a good day. I know it,” Bob Veline said.
There appeared to be no significant issues with the voter ID law or the voting machines, and Democratic poll watchers, including County Chairman Richard Hayes, reported a smooth process.
However, several poll workers said they'd gotten complaints that Colbert Busch's name appears on the ballot twice.
She is listed as the Democratic candidate and the Working Families candidate. Her votes will be added together at the end of the day.
Colbert Busch got several votes at Bethany United Methodist Church from people who thought Congress needs more women and didn't like Sanford's history.
“I know you're allowed to redeem yourself, but I can't see that he has,” said Shirley Heath.
“Sanford abandoned the state of South Carolina. … You don't just disappear from the country,” said Georgann Gentry.
At Fort Dorchester High School, Harriet Spann said she thought Colbert Busch was the best choice, and that she knows how to get jobs.
But Danny and Iris Winstead cast their votes for Sanford.
Iris Winstead said he's one of the “fiscal responsible ones.”
And at Fort Dorchester Elementary School, Donald Cook also chose Sanford.
“I didn't want to vote for Pelosi and the Democrats. I could care less about his personal life,” he said. “Results are what I'm after.”
Vicki Vincent agreed.
“He will do what he says, which is change things,” she said.
Voters headed to the polls had to remember to bring a photo ID. They also had to contend with the fact that schools were in session today, which caused voters at schools to deal with polling places that might have shifted elsewhere on campus.
They also had to keep in mind the dismissal schedule, contending with parents picking up children after school.

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