FREDERICK, Kan. (KSNW) – Some may not be familiar with Frederick. The few residents of the town told KSNw-TV that it has a population of nine.
Last month, town members voted on whether or not the town should remain incorporated or dissolve. Most residents, including the former mayor, said they don’t think Frederick should remain a town.
However, the election results said something different.
According to Rice County clerk, Alicia Showalter, 13 people voted to keep Frederick a city and seven voted against it.
In total, 20 ballots were collected.
“Of those, there are only nine registered voters in Frederick,” said Showalter.
The county clerk said it was a ballot distribution mistake , 11 people received ballots with the Frederick question, that weren’t supposed to vote on it.
The Rice County commission canvassed and certified the results a week after election, and that’s when the clerk realized the numbers didn’t add up.
She talked to the State election office, but they said the results were official.
KSNW-TV reached out to Kris Kobach’s office, and asked if this would be considered voter fraud.
“They got a ballot that they were not eligible to vote on. The voter did not commit fraud,” said Bryan Caskey, Kansas election director. “The voter wasn’t intentionally trying to sway the outcome of the election.”
Caskey said, by law, anyone can request a judge to review election results if there’s proof votes were casted that shouldn’t have been. That must be filed within five days after the results are certified.
By the time Rice County realized the mistake, it was already too late.
“At that point, there was basically nothing we could do,” said Showalter.
County officials said they don’t know when the question could appear on a ballot again, but until then, Frederick will remain a city. Frederick does not have any governing leaders right now, and until a new governing body is elected, those last appointed to the council must remain until they are replaced.