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By Ed Payne, CNN

(CNN) — A brutal blizzard that has already whipped the southern Plains set its sights on Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, where it’s expected to dump more than a foot of snow Tuesday.

The powerful storm system is a second straight punch to the gut for a region hit by record snowfall a week ago.

“We are very concerned about this storm,” Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said Monday. “We believe it may be worse than the last one.”

He extended an early state of emergency as the storm approached.

Complicating matters are primary elections in nearly a quarter of the state’s 105 counties. State officials extended early voting hours into Monday evening to accommodate those who wanted to vote before snowflakes started to swirl.

Southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma got the storm’s worst overnight, spreading whiteout conditions along the state line.

In Wichita, students will…

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