105,000 Uncounted Ballots in Contra Costa

Contra Costa County received more than 80,000 vote-by-mail ballots delivered by hand and more than 20,000 provisional ballots that were not included in the semi-official results released for all precincts hours after the election.

When the election ended Tuesday night and the semi-official results for all precincts posted early Wednesday, Contra Costa County still had more than 100,000 uncounted ballots to sift through before they can certify the election.

County Clerk Steve Weir said his election office had received 82,271 vote-by-mail ballots since Saturday afternoon as well as 23,692 provisional ballots. That's 105,963 ballots that were not counted as of Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Weir said there were more vote-by-mail ballots turned in at the polls than they expected. This is also the highest total ever for provisional ballots in Contra Costa County.

The ballots may not all be counted until the middle of next week.

That could leave several close elections in doubt until then. Those involving El Cerrito and Kensington were not close.

One of them is Measure D, the $260 million school bond in the San Ramon Valley. Right now, the measure has 55.19 percent of the vote with 55 percent needed for passage.

It's not known how many uncounted ballots are from Alamo, Danville and San Ramon.

The voter turnout right now for Contra Costa County is 60 percent. The late ballots are expected to raise that to 80 percent.

The county has until Dec. 4 under state law to certify the election.

Michael O'Connor November 10, 2012 at 03:32 PM
80% turnout? Good job, CCC!
Christina Slamon November 10, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I take a small exception to your first sentence that says the county received 80,000 late vote by mail ballots. They weren't late, if they were turned in on election day before 8 pm like mine was. My ballot wasn't late, I just turned it in at the ballot box instead of mailing it. Ballots that are received late are not counted (due to not being mailed in time).
Giorgio C. November 10, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Honestly, I do not remember how I ended up getting switched to the "mail in" ballot option. It seems it just started happening. My wife's option was not switched, but mine was. Maybe this happened when I signed a petition somewhere? I plan on switching back to the standard voting option, using the polling place. I did drop my mail-in ballot off at the polling station per protocol, so this was not late as this option was offered to me. Clearly, the county elections office was ill-prepared to do their job. Why didn't they contract with someone or did they? Are county employees getting paid OT as a result of this? There is even talk that they could be working on Thanksgiving. Does this mean that they will get paid Holiday time? If so, the handling of this will be both costly and untimely.
J B L November 10, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I got put on the mail in list too and don't know how. I like dropping my ballot at my polling place to make sure it gets there. After just having two children get married and finding out that invitations and replys never got delivered, we all know that mail gets lost!
Ira Sharenow November 10, 2012 at 06:58 PM
You can track your vote by mail. http://www.cocovote.us/content.aspx?id=153
Charles Burress (Editor) November 10, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Christina, you're right. The word "late" shouldn't have appeared in the subhead (or "deck") of the article and has been removed. Thanks for pointing it out. We appreciate our readers helping us keep our reporting accurate.
Larry November 10, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I believe the link is actually http://www.cocovote.us/VoterLookup.aspx.
Pamela Suess November 11, 2012 at 02:49 AM
I've never had a problem voting but I got down there Tuesday and my name was not on the list! My daughter (newly 18- living in the same house) was on the list. I had to vote provisionally and it was very disappointing. Sounds like it happened to alot of people.
LJ November 13, 2012 at 09:45 PM
@Larry and Ira, Thanks for the link! I was tolk dropping off a mail in ballot one is less likely to get their vote counted. Reading this article I was scared mine was one of them. Not so. Just checked. Phew!!!


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