Mark Sanford, Elizabeth Colbert Bush face the voters in contentious 1st Congressional District race

Recent polls show a tight race between Democrat and businesswoman Elizabeth Colbert Busch (left) , sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, and former Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican who held the 1st District seat for three terms.

Will South Carolina’s former governor gain redemption, or will the comedian’s sister get the last laugh?

Lowcountry voters will decide today, as they head to the polls to settle one of the most competitive and nationally scrutinized congressional elections in state history.

Recent polls show a tight race between Democrat and businesswoman Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, and former Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican who held the 1st District seat for three terms.

Throughout the race, Sanford has painted Colbert Busch as a liberal whose values are aligned with Nancy Pelosi and unions, while Colbert Busch has criticized Sanford’s trustworthiness as well as his votes in Congress.

On Monday, the two continued their tear across the district, making more than a dozen stops as they made their final pitch to voters.

“At the end of the day, this 1st Congressional District race has taken on a degree of national significance in the direction of our country,” Sanford said, “and it’s long been important with regard to the trajectory of spending and financial restraint in Washington, D.C.”

“As we close out this campaign,” Colbert Busch said, “I ask for the support of the people of this district to send me to Washington to create good jobs, get our fiscal house in order and be a representative who they can trust.”

Today’s forecast calls for rain, which could dampen turnout. Still, experts expect a higher turnout than the less than 16 percent who voted in the March 19 primaries. Green Party candidate Eugene Platt also is on the ballot.

The winner will serve out the final year and a half of the term vacated by Tim Scott, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate this year.

Here is what you need to know as you go to the polls:

When, where do polls open?


The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the same polling places used March 19 and April 2. A link to polling places for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties can be found on this story at postandcourier.com/politics.

What should you bring?


The state’s new Voter ID law requires a state-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, another DOT-issued photo ID, a new voter registration card with a photo, a U.S. passport or a federal military ID. Registered voters may cast a vote without such an ID if they cite a “reasonable impediment.”

The U.S. Justice Department will monitor voting in Charleston County as it did in March.

How can voters learn if they’re eligible?


The 1st District sprawls over parts of five counties. Voters in those counties who live in the 6th District can’t vote today.

To check which district you’re in, go to scvotes.org, click on the “Voters” tab and “Check your registration.” Doing so will clarify which congressional district you’re in.



Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.

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