S.C. Governor Turned Away by Poll Worker

The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 7, 2006; 1:53 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Even Gov. Mark Sanford needs the right ID to vote in South Carolina. One day after eye injuries interrupted his last day of campaigning, Sanford forgot his voter registration card and was turned away from the polls, returning 90 minutes later to cast his ballot.

"I hope my luck turns," Sanford said. "Yesterday, I had the eye issue, today I was absentminded and didn't have my voter registration card."

Poll workers at a Sullivans Island precinct turned the governor away when he didn't have his registration card and the driver's license he showed had a Columbia address. He returned later with a new card.

"I hope everybody else out there is as determined to vote as I was today," he said.

On Monday, Sanford was sidelined from campaigning after he burned his eyes under stage lighting at an economic development event a day earlier.

"It's behind me and the prognosis is good," Sanford said before he was first turned away.

With his eyes red and watery, Sanford hoped his bid for a second term turned more on the image he's nurtured for four years as an outsider taking on political insiders.

Along the way to Tuesday's election, the Republican found himself repairing rifts with GOP voters stung by his vetoes or other party faithful turned off by what they called his libertarian leanings.

But it's doubtful Sanford's day off did much to help Democratic challenger Tommy Moore's prospects.

Moore has raised just $3 million to win the office. That's less than half of the more than $8 million Sanford gathered. The difference left Sanford on television nonstop through the summer, giving him the edge in defining the contest and himself, and Moore was unable to answer until mid-October.

Sanford says the race is about the state's future, including efforts he'll continue to cut spending, cut taxes, push school choice and restructure and streamline government. Moore seized on the state's unemployment rate _ for more than a year one of the nation's highest _ and Sanford's push for school vouchers.

That issue has polarized some voters.

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