Two contested races for state House seats and one county office await voters in the Tuesday, Aug. 4, primary election.

Samantha Poetter and Clifford Blackmore, both Paola Republicans, will meet in the primary for the House District 6 race to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. Jene Vickrey, who chose not to run for reelection. The Louisburg Republican served 28 years in the House.

In the House District 5 primary, incumbent Rep. Mark Samsel, a Wellsville Republican, will face Garnett Republican Mark Powls.

Incumbent Janet White, a Beagle Republican, will face challenger Matthew Mercer, a Republican from Louisburg, for the County Clerk’s office.

With those three contested Republican races, as well as Louisburg and Prairie View school bond election questions, on the Aug. 4 ballot, White said she is expecting a larger turnout than normal for the primary. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day.

Advance voting for the Aug. 4 primary is taking place at the former Miami County Sheriff’s Office, located at 118 S. Pearl St. in Paola. The deadline to request a mail ballot has already passed, but advance voting in person is still available.

The former sheriff’s office was selected — instead of the usual site across the street at the Miami County Administration Building — to help mitigate the COVID-19 risk, said White who is also the county’s Election Officer. The new voting site was prepped with safety measures and social distancing protocols as the clerk’s office and its volunteer poll workers prepare to handle what could be a record number of voters for an August primary.

The clerk’s office is offering additional hours and extending hours in an effort to minimize the need for lines at the polling site to also help mitigate the COVID-19 risk, White said.

The advance voting location will be open during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Friday, July 31. The advance voting site also will be open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1.

The location also will remain open after business hours until 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 30. Advance voting will be available the day before the primary from 8 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 3.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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