The central Kansas town of Frederick has dwindled over the decades to just 10 people, and its only real expense is a $55-a-month electric bill for a half-dozen or so street lights that illuminate the unpaved streets. For a community with nine registered voters, the tally at the ballot box last month was 13-7 in favor of keeping Frederick a third-class city. The three workers at the polling place 5 miles to the west handed out the wrong ballots to some voters living outside the city. Local and state officials, at a loss for what to do, are letting the results stand. Either way, it’s unclear whether anything will change for Frederick’s residents. Just off a state highway about 75 miles northwest of Wichita, this city-in-name-only has no approved budget and didn’t elect anyone to any office in its last municipal election in 2015.
Melode Huggans, the town’s 63-year-old clerk, has lived in Frederick for 20 years because she enjoys “the country life.” She’s ambivalent about the election results. “We’re just a quiet town where nobody bothers anybody,” said Huggans, who sends in the town’s check each month for the electric bill. “Not much goes on here.”
… An 1872 state law sets high hurdles for dissolving a town. Absent a specific act of the Legislature, a majority of a city’s voters must petition its officials to put the issue on the ballot. Two-thirds of those voting must cast their ballots “against a city.”
It’s not impossible, though: Residents of Mildred in eastern Kansas’ Allen County dissolved their town last month. The vote: 3-1.
Full Article: Botched balloting keeps tiny Kansas town from dissolving.