Local News

Small Town's Election Could Be One For Record Books

Posted November 5, 2005 6:34 a.m. EST

— Eureka has a total of population of fewer than 250 people, and its town hall is just a small corner office inside the post office.

But the small town in Wayne County has a big election approaching Tuesday, when voters will elect two new commissioners and a mayor.

But Richard Worrells, a resident of Eureka, said he did not know which candidates he would vote for.

"There will be a lot of write-in votes," he said.

And it's not because voters don't like who is running for office, he said. It's that no one is running; there is not a single name on the ballot.

All the voters who show up at the polls Tuesday will have to write-in a candidate. There are 160 registered voters in the town.

That's politics in Eureka, said Randy Bass, the current mayor who chose not to run for re-election because "he was just tired of it" and recently retired from his full-time job.

"Ever since I was young I used to hear about 'It's a write-in,'" Bass said.

He said the town has had write-in winners in nearly every local election for the past 18 years.

But, this will be the first year that the ballot will be completely empty.

So, why the lack of interest?

"Eureka is a town with a lot of senior citizens that are just looking to relax and retire," resident Phil Yelverton said. "We just don't have the money to pay an official to take care of everything."

Yelverton, who has served on Eureka's Board of Commissioners, added: "People get burned out if they have to do it continuously."

Worrells agreed. He served as the town's mayor for 10 years.

"I think everybody in town should at least serve on term," he said.