Voter turnout higher than expected in 1st Congressional District election

gsmith@islandpacket.comMay 7, 2013 

Colbert Busch Sanford Voting

Elizabeth Colbert Busch is surrounded by the media after voting at Moultrie Middle School in Mt. Pleasant (Photo by Leroy Burnell; Former Gov. Mark Sanford poses for the media after voting in downtown Charleston (Photo by Brad Nettles;


  • South Carolina law allows for a candidate to be the nominee of more than one party, a practice known as fusion voting. That means Colbert Busch's name will appear on the ballot twice -- once as the nominee for the Democratic Party and once as the nominee for the Working Families Party, a minority political party started by labor unions, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and other community organizations.

    The party's platform includes universal access to health care, ensuring livable wages for all workers, and more funding for public schools. Colbert Busch's official vote total will be her Democratic votes plus her Working Families votes.

  • Election Day

    • Candidates are Republican Mark Sanford, Green Party candidate Eugene Platt and Democrat/Working Families candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch.
    • Polls for the 1st Congressional District special election are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Midday voter turnout in Beaufort County is higher than expected.

Scott Marshall, the county's top election official, said turnout could end up somewhere between 20 and 25 percent in Tuesday's 1st Congressional District race.

Typically, special elections only bring about 10 to 12 percent of voters out, he said.

"Unlike a lot of special elections, with this race, you see more media coverage, more TV ads, more phone calls at home. And you've got the celebrity aspect of it," Marshall said.

Voters have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to choose between Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, Republican Mark Sanford or Green Party candidate Eugene Platt.

Brisk turnout has also been reported in Charleston County. The two counties comprise the highest number of voters in the five-county district.

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