County voter turnout exceeds state average

No major changes affected the outcome of Tuesday?s primary election following Friday?s canvass by Marion County commissioners.

Overall voter turnout in the Aug. 3 primary was at 40 percent in Marion County, which was higher than the statewide average of between 19 and 25 percent, according to election officials.

Election Clerk Carol Maggard said she was pleased with the turnout and percentages in the county. Of the 7,564 registered voters, she said, 7,533 were eligible to vote in the primary.

Ineligible voters included 29 Libertarians and two registered Reform Party voters, she said.

Of the 11 polling locations in Marion County, townships with the highest voter turnout included Lost Springs and Moore townships with 57 percent, Risley Township with 47 percent, Centre Township, 44 percent, Marion South, Hillsboro 2nd and Liberty, 43 percent and many other townships in the low 40s to upper 30s.

Fifty-two provisional ballots were reviewed for a variety of reasons.

?No one is turned away from voting,? Maggard said, ?but sometimes election supervisors will challenge (the validity of a ballot).?

Nineteen ballots were not counted because the voter was not registered in the county.

The other 33 ballots were provisional primarily because voters had moved from one location to another within the county, but failed to change their address.

Maggard also reminded commissioners that township clerks must have a minimum of three write-ins to be considered for those positions and precinct committee members must have a minimum of five.

The two major races for Marion County voters involved a county commission race and the 70th district seat.

In the commission race, challenger Roger Fleming defeated incumbent Bob Hein, receiving 808 votes to 218.

Fleming thanks voters

Fleming thanked Hein for his many years of service on the commission.

?We had so many important races in this primary,? Fleming said, ?and it was good to see voter turnout was better than state averages.

As for his new role, Fleming said. ?For now, I am trying to learn the issues.?

Hein grateful for service

Meanwhile, Hein said he feels it?s a good time for him to step down. Appointed to the commission in 1997, Hein will have served for 13 years.

?I do want to thank everyone who supported me (at the polls), and a special thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the election,? he said. ?Also, special thanks to all the county courthouse department heads and fellow commissioners on doing a good job.?

?It?s time for me to relax and go back to selling cars.?

Hein said he is pleased with what he has accomplished during his tenure, including the start of economic development and a Neighborhood Revitaliza?tion Program.

Brookens humbled by support

In the race for 70th District set, incumbent Bob Brookens defeated Cheryl Green, 1,823-818 in Marion County.

Brookens said it was a tough campaign.

?I was very pleased with the overall outcome,? he said, ?and quite pleased and humbled by the faith citizens of Marion County (continue to have).?

In the past two years, Brookens said there has been a lot of give and take.

?They (constituents) guide and help me,? he said, ?even though they don?t always agree with everything.?

Brookens expressed gratitude to the voters.

?Thank you, thank you,? he said about those who indicated their confidence in him.

Green will try again

Green thanked her supporters in Marion County.

?I ran into some very lovely people in Hillsboro and Marion and I want to thank them for being so kind,? she said. ?I also ran into some very ugly people who said some ugly things.?

Green said she believes she ran a clean campaign.

?Butler County (voters) know me better,? she said, ?where I did extremely well.?

Green said this isn?t the end of her political career. She will continue to convey her message.

?The state can?t spend more than it brings in,? she said. ?Kansas doesn?t have a taxing problem, it has a spending problem.?

In other key national and state races, Marion County Republicans gave the majority of their votes to winners Jerry Moran for U.S. Senate and Sam Brownback for governor, while supporting runner-up Jim Barnett for U.S. House instead of Tim Huelskamp.

On the Democratic side, the county?s vote in contested races went as follows:

? U.S. Senator: Lisa Johnston, 91; Charles Schollenberger 80; Patrick Wiesner 60; David Haley, 28; Robert Conroy 16.

? Secretary of State: Chris Biggs 225; Chris Steineger 58.

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