We all knew who would win

Pillsbury, N.D., is one of those places about which it's sometimes said: Don't blink or you'll miss it. That would have been especially true on June 10 – the day of the most recent primary election. Why? Because there was no one around to speak of. The polls closed without a single resident attracting attention by entering or leaving the building. Yes, you read that correctly: Voter turnout was zero, and that includes the candidates for office. Pillsbury's population, according to Mayor Darrel Brudevold, is 11, not counting those who live on farms outside town, and usually at least a half dozen show up on election day.

So why not this time? "Everybody has got a job," the mayor explained. "They're busy. It just worked out that nobody seemed to go down there" to cast a ballot. In his own case, he said, his intentions were the best. But – you know how it is – he had crops to tend. His wife, Ruth, an alderman, likewise was up for reelection. Dan Lindseth also was seeking another term on the town council, which meets five times a year. The mayor planned to consult with state elections officials on what to do about the situation. But apparently it's permissible for the office-holders to carry on until the next election, since all were running unopposed. "We're just a little village," His Honor said. "When you're elected to one of those jobs, well, once you get it, you've got it." Each office pays an annual salary of $48, which increasingly tends to be spent on gasoline for the drive to the meetings and home again.

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