Given Homeland Security's interpretation, signing an extension would mean Sanford, a Republican long on libertarian leanings, would be breaking the law he sought and signed, Sawyer said. Others are in similar positions.
"If it does come to a head, we've found it is best just to tell them to go to hell, and run your state the way you want to run your state," Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, said last week.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci, also a Democrat, said he plans to respond by the March 31 deadline. His staff on Thursday continued to review the waiver language to determine the best way to respond to Homeland Security, but his press office said that doesn't mean the state will seek an extension. Baldacci has said he does not want Mainers inconvenienced because of insufficient credentials.
Associated Press writer Glenn Adams in Augusta, Maine, contributed to this report.