Ron Barnett, Greenville Online

Today is the day for voters in northern Greenville County to choose a new representative in state House District 17.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and voters who usually cast their ballot at a school have been asked to go to alternate sites because of concerns for school security.

No Democrat filed in the race, so the winner of this Republican primary will fill the vacancy barring a successful write-in candidacy.

The candidates are:

* Restaurant and construction business owner Mike Burns of Travelers Rest.

* University of South Carolina law student Roy Harmon of Greenville.

* Chiropractor Tom Kolarik of Travelers Rest.

* Public relations and marketing business owner Chris Sullivan of Travelers Rest.

* Retired farmer Randall Young of Travelers Rest

A runoff, if one of the candidates doesn't win a majority of the votes, will be held Feb. 5. The election is set for March 12.

The special election is necessary because the former holder of the seat, Tom Corbin, won a Senate seat as well as re-election to the House seat in November. He entered the Senate race after incumbent Phillip Shoopman decided to withdraw after the filing period had ended.

This will be the first election in Greenville County since the state's voter ID law went into effect Jan. 1.

The law requires that voters present one of these forms of identification in order to cast their ballot: a South Carolina driver's license, an ID card issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, a South Carolina voter registration card with a photo, a federal military ID or a U.S. passport.

Anyone who comes to the polls without a qualifying ID will be permitted to cast a provisional ballot if he or she cites a "reasonable impediment" for not having an ID and signs an affidavit, officials said.

Voters in seven Greenville County precincts have been instructed to visit different polling places, due to either school security concerns, or other factors.

For a list of the changes for polling places, visit

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