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Antioch Council candidate Anthony Segovia admits to past crimes

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
Segovia Antioch Council candidate Anthony Segovia admits to past crimes

Anthony Segovia

By John Crowder

Anthony Segovia, a 27-year-old, self-described financial analyst and small business owner, and a candidate for the Antioch city council, has admitted to a criminal record that includes two felony convictions for insurance fraud, as well as grand theft.

In an interview conducted by the Herald, Segovia claimed these charges have now been dropped down to misdemeanors after payment of restitution. He said he was currently on probation for these offenses.

According to Segovia, the felony charges stem from a car accident that took place in 2010. Segovia said he was one of five people in one of the two cars involved. He said that, after the accident, he and the others in the car he was riding in filed insurance claims for injuries sustained. While his own claim, he said, was legitimate, others made claims that were not. Segovia says that the two insurance companies that were defrauded paid about $92,000, altogether, to the five people involved. He claims to have personally received payments of about $1,500.

Segovia said that his involvement in the scheme included his pretending to be two of the other people who had been in the accident, speaking over the phone with and emailing the insurers on their behalf. He said he knew all of the other four participants, and that one of them was an uncle.

Segovia said that the main reason that he got in trouble was that he knew about the inflated claims made by others in the group, but refused to cooperate with the CA Department of Insurance investigators who were looking into the matter.

I didn’t want to rat out a family member,” he said.

After being charged with insurance fraud, he says he determined to start cooperating with the investigators, and it was this decision, along with an agreement to make restitution to the insurance company, that eventually resulted in the charges being lowered to misdemeanors and a reduced jail sentence. Segovia pleaded ‘no contest’ to the two felony charges in 2012. He also said that he paid close to $90,000 in restitution, while one of the other participants paid between $10,000 and $15,000.

The grand theft conviction was for a real estate transaction involving another relative who lost $22,000 in the deal, for which Segovia said he was paid $400. He says he had a financial license, which allowed him to handle home loans, but not a real estate license, which was required.

For his crimes, Segovia says he was sentenced to nine months in jail, but actually spent only 30 days at a Marsh Creek facility, then spent another 45 days with an ankle monitor. This sentence reduction, he said, was approved by the judge in the case, after evaluating all of the circumstances.

Segovia’s version of the case, however, is disputed on almost every point by Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Brian Hast.

According to Hast, Segovia was the instigator of the fraudulent actions, not just someone helping out or covering up for his family. Hast also said that Segovia, still on probation, hadn’t yet paid the bulk of the restitution ordered. He said that the last time Segovia was in court was January, 2013, and that he would be on probation until October, 2017. Hast also said that the charges had not yet been reduced to misdemeanors, and that any such reduction would not happen until full restitution was paid.

Hast related a very different version of the events leading up to the fraud charges. Hast said that Segovia would submit an initial claim to an insurance company, with no proof, and if he was challenged, he would then drop the claim. Some insurance firms paid the claims without question.

According to Hast, he and an investigator from the CA Department of Insurance sat down with Segovia and confronted him with evidence of his crimes. Segovia was cooperative during the meeting, admitted his crimes, and spoke freely about the others involved. Because he was cooperating, Hast said, he told Segovia that he would request jail time of only six months, as long as he didn’t commit any more crimes prior to the trial, and withdrew any fraudulent claims he might still have open. “Then we find out he filed another claim,” said Hast, “and that is why the jail time went from six to nine months.”

Hast said that the total amount of restitution ordered was $118,236.99, and this was the amount Segovia was ordered to pay. According to Hast, the last time Segovia made a payment toward restitution was in November, 2013, when he sent in $250. Segovia had brought in other people on two different claims, and they were also ordered to pay restitution.

Segovia continues to campaign for the Antioch city council, in spite of the revelations about his criminal past. He said that, regardless of this history, he feels that he can still make a positive contribution to Antioch.

I know a crime was committed,” he said, “I think moving forward, given that I’m so young, I don’t want one mistake in my past to affect my future. I want to be an example to people that, even though I made a mistake, I can still move forward, be a positive influence on society, and contribute to my city.”

In response to his past becoming public, Segovia posted the following on his campaign’s Facebook page on October 5:

As many of the people are aware now, yes I do have a past that I am not proud of. Nobody is perfect, including the people judging me. Feeling I did the right at the time, there is no excuse to justify my choices. When one is running for public office of any kind, he/she should be a leader which he/she is seeking office for. As of now I have failed to do that. However what I haven’t failed to do is admit to my mistakes, took responsibility for my actions and moved on. There are many people with a past, they are just not trying to be a part of saving a crime stricken city. Before making a choice to run for Antioch City Council, I knew this was coming, now I have to face the comments and people passing judgment. Regardless of my past, there is a city that needs work and this is my main goal is getting Antioch back on track, getting it back to the city people loved to call hone. Many of you are probably wondering why i have no chosen to withdraw my candidacy, but let me tell you this will only make it stronger and makes me strive to change this great city. As for As the people who stuck by my side and continue to I want to thank you for your love and undying support you have shown me. NOW ITS TINE TO MOVE PAST THIS MINOR SETBACK AND GET TO WORK! ANTHONY SEGOVIA FOR ANTIOCH CITY COUNCIL.”

Segovia is the youngest of eight candidates running for the two seats up for election, on November 4. Also running are appointed incumbent Tony Tiscareno, who Segovia says is his cousin, but Tiscarano stated he only met Segovia at a candidates interview during the campaign and that he has 200 relatives in the area; Antioch School Board Trustee Diane Gibson-Gray, Lamar Thorpe, Lori Ogorchock, Karl Dietzel, Jeffrey Hall-Cottrell and Steven Bado.

Publisher Allen Payton contributed to this article.

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Antioch Mayor Harper served with recall papers, he and supporters respond to his critics at city council meeting

Friday, October 17th, 2014

By John Crowder

City business took up only a fraction of the October 14 Antioch city council meeting, as the effort to recall Mayor Wade Harper continued to move forward. Public comments related to the recall, and the violence in the community and schools that appears to be driving it, dominated the session.

Antioch resident Rich Buongiorno, who has been the main force behind the recall movement, once again aired his dissatisfaction with the mayor during public comments. He began his statement by addressing the mayor directly, telling him, “You sir, have not done anything, for your position and for this city.” He went on to compare the election of the mayor to an investment made by the citizens of Antioch, telling Harper there had been “no return” on this investment. Passing forward a set of papers, he told the mayor, “We the voters, have the last word. Remember that. Mr. Mayor, you are being recalled.”

Buongiorno then served Harper with the Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition, which included more than the necessary valid signatures of registered voters in Antioch. See a copy of the form, here: HarperRecallIntention. The papers were filed with the City Clerk’s office on Thursday, October 16, and the County Elections Office verified the signatures. Now the recall supporters must obtain signatures from 20% of the registered voters in Antioch, as of the last election, which is approximately 8,600 voters, over the next 180 days, to send the recall to the ballot.

At the meeting, however, speakers in support of the mayor outnumbered those looking to oust him, or who brought forward concerns about the violence in and around the schools.

Iris Archuleta said that she would support the mayor and the members of the city council. She said that the naysayers were, “never satisfied, no matter how significant the change, and never will be.”

It does not help to point fingers and lay blame,” she said, “it never has, and it won’t help now.”

She told the city council and the mayor, “I will do everything I can to support your positive efforts.”

Pastor Kirkland Smith, Senior Pastor of Grace Bible Fellowship, said he was speaking as a supporter of Mayor Harper, and referenced others in the audience who were also in support of him. This resulted in loud applause and cheers from the audience, lasting almost half-a-minute, which ceased only when Smith pointed out that he was limited to three minutes in which to speak. He noted that he had two sons who had graduated from Deer Valley High School (DVHS).

The problems that were at Deer Valley today, were there two and four years ago, the difference was, there was an involved parent,” Smith said. “It seems to me, if there is a problem in our schools, it starts with inactive parents.”

He then continued emphasizing the need for active principals, an active school board, and an active school superintendent. Smith pointed out that the mayor had been active, as he had attended events in the Sycamore area, and more recently been “pitching a tent” at Deer Valley Plaza. Smith concluded by challenging what he termed, “finger pointers,” saying, “If you’re here to cast your stone, I’m leaving some stones right here.” Following his remarks, the room again erupted in cheers and applause.

Most of the other speakers echoed the themes established by Smith.

Velma Wilson, a youth education advisor with the local NAACP, expressed her support for the mayor. She said that she had been with the mayor at Deer Valley Plaza, and that she and Mayor Harper had spoken with “200 plus” students there. Noting that not all of the kids were doing bad, she said, “We need to let these kids know that we stand with them.”

Joseph Adebayo, past president of the NAACP, East County Branch, said that crime has been an issue in Antioch for a long time, but that he wanted to be part of the solution. He said that he believed the mayor was doing a good job, and that, “We are on the very right trajectory.”

Other speakers supporting the mayor included Odessa Lefrancois and Willie Mims, both also of the NAACP, East County Branch, Hiassen Bay, with the Green Jacket organization, Essence Phillips, a summer school principal with the Antioch Unified School District, and more Antioch residents.

Some speakers did bring forward concerns with violent behavior, especially as it relates to local schools. One speaker addressed the problems at Deer Valley Plaza, and expressed frustration with the fights occurring over the past eight weeks, both there and in the schools. She cited the Constitution of the State of California, saying that it provided for the rights of students and staff to attend safe schools.

Gil Murillo said he attended the school board meeting last week, and that he wanted city staff to attend school board meetings as well, as, “students are living in fear.” He continued, “This is about our kids.” “They just want to go to school. They just want to be safe.”

Jeff Belle, a candidate for the Contra Costa County Board of Education said, “I believe that an unsafe community creates unsafe schools, and vice-versa.”

Sandra McKee, who said that she has lived in Antioch for 67 years, expressed her disappointment with the state of the city. She told the council that they could do more, and that it was not the responsibility of teachers, but parents, to raise their kids properly.

She said that maybe parents need to be held accountable for the actions of their children.

Following public comments, Mayor Harper called Scott Bergerhouse, principal of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (DLMHS) and Lori Cook, also of DLMHS, forward for a presentation of “Good Samaritan” certificates to four DLMHS students. The mayor said that he had created the award, and it was the first time he was giving it out. The two AUSD employees commended the four students for coming to the aid of an elderly woman they had seen fall in the Kaiser parking lot as they walked home from school. The four students, Brandon Rojas, Nnambi Agu, Chinasa Agu, and Ivuoma Umozurike, were honored by the principal, Ms. Cook, the mayor and the city council.

Finally, the agenda item Mayor’s Comments was reached. Mayor Harper spoke for several minutes, answering his critics. He began by mentioning that he teaches two classes for AUSD. “I’ve met some really solid students, that have gone through a lot,” he said.

The mayor went on to detail what he considered the accomplishments of his administration. He talked about the passage of Measure C, a tax measure used for funding public safety, and said that he and his family had worked extensively for its passage. He noted that the measure passed with 70% approval. He also said that he is working for the passage of Measure O.

Harper said that “this council” extended 3% at 50 retirement benefits in order to hire experienced police officers, “despite public criticism,” and, “as a result, we have hired several experienced lateral police officers.” He said, “It has proven to be the right decision that we made, collectively, as a city council.”

With respect to the budget, Harper said, “this council passed a budget to stop deficit spending.”

Harper spoke about his and his colleague’s engagement with the public.

This city council has attended countless public meetings,” he said.

Regarding the community cafés, he said he had attended almost every one.

I ran on a platform of zero tolerance for crime,” but, “everyone in this community needs to adopt this mind set,” Harper added. He noted the proliferation of neighborhood watch programs.

Harper said that, while he has a zero tolerance for crime, at the same time he has a lot of tolerance for young people, and that was why he had pitched a tent at Deer Valley Plaza, and had spent time meeting the students who pass through there after school. He also spoke about the meetings regarding the Deer Valley Plaza incidents that he had attended which included the police chief, superintendent of schools, the Deer Valley Plaza landlords, and representatives of the AUSD school board, district attorney’s office, and probation department. He advocated for the removal of the smoke shop there, and said that parents who bring their students to the Plaza to fight, need to be held accountable. He said it was a “small handful of kids” who cause problems.

Harper spoke about his accessibility and the transparency of city and council decisions. He called city manager Steve Duran, “the most transparent manager the city has ever had.” Harper said that, as mayor, he was willing to meet with all constituents, even those that have, “held up the recall papers,” if they have solutions.

Harper challenged the media to not just report the bad things happening in town, but also the good things.

Harper concluded, “I’m not a person that’s constantly pushing myself forward, or tooting my own horn, that’s not usually me. I’m a modest person. But I see that I have to start a campaign to pretty much let people know, these are some of the things I’m doing.” He then emphasized the teamwork that has felt was a hallmark of this city council.

Following Mayor Harper’s comments, the rest of the meeting moved quickly to adjournment.

The next meeting of the city council will take place on Tuesday, October 28, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

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Antioch School Board hears from frustrated residents about school safety, behavior problems

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

By John Crowder

Dozens of people attended the October 8th meeting of the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) Board, packing the small meeting room and lining the hallway leading to it. Several of those in attendance were there to speak out against what they described as unruly and violent behavior by students in schools throughout the district. Parents, students, and teachers all expressed their dismay over the situation.

Even so, some at the meeting defended the schools, blaming the media for focusing on the problem behavior exhibited by a minority of students and telling the protesters they should be providing solutions instead of just complaining.

The most poignant pleas came from the children, who led off the public comments. They spoke about being scared to go to school. One young girl, a student at Dallas Ranch Middle School (DRMS), spoke about a friend of hers, who she said, “had a knife waved in her face,” and her hair cut off by another student. “She dropped out,” said the speaker.

Kathryn O’Shea, a sophomore at Deer Valley High School, said she was, “tired of classmates disrupting our classes.” She said that, on average, 30 minutes of each class is lost due to disruptive behavior.

We can’t learn anything,” she concluded.

Parents attending the meeting expressed grave concern with the amount of violent and disruptive behavior by students taking place in the classroom, on campuses, and in the surrounding community.

Lara Lindeman said she was speaking because, “my daughter is not safe at Dallas Ranch Middle School.” She listed a host of examples. They included two teachers leaving the school after being threatened and assaulted by a student, a student threatening to “return and shoot” a teacher, and a boy trying to kick down the door to gain entry to a classroom while students inside were, “helpless,” and “repeated calls for security were unanswered” during the incident. She went on to say, “Restorative justice practices are being implemented, but we’re told it will take several years before we can expect measurable results. What about in the meantime? What about in the NOW?”

Gil Murillo, a parent with children at Deer Valley High School (DVHS), began by taking issue with a statement he attributed to a current board member that, “the campuses we have are just fine,” with respect to student safety. He went on to demand the resignation of the DVHS principal, Ken Gardner, saying his leadership at the school had failed. Murillo said that students were, “running out of control,” and cited gambling, drug use on the campus, and violations of the dress code as just some of the problems evident. “As a parent, I am tired of poor management,” he said. He continued, “It is time for change, immediate change!”

Frank DeLuna, Vice President of the PTSO at Black Diamond Middle School (BDMS) and a long-time volunteer, noted several problems on that campus. He talked of students smearing feces in the boys’ bathroom, smoking pot, using profanity, cursing out adults, and committing acts of violence. “Just last month we had an incident where some relatives of a student came on campus,” he said. “They went to a P.E. class and had their kid beat up another kid while they watched and kept anyone from helping. The student who got beat up was taken away in an ambulance. The P.E. teacher who tried to stop it was also injured.” DeLuna summarized the concerns of many in attendance, when he said, “Stop worrying about the rights of the bad kids, and start worrying about the rights of the good kids who want to learn, but can’t.” This statement was greeted by loud applause from the audience.

Ellen Marie Sun, Vice President of the PTO at Jack London Elementary School said she was there because she was, “upset about the increasing violence in our schools which often spills over to the rest of the community.” She related an incident she said she “personally” knew of at DVHS, in which a girl student was walking to the bathroom and, “a stranger grabbed her and tried to carry her away.” Saying that the administration had downplayed the incident, she asked, “Do we need someone to really finish the deed – a sexual assault, an attempted kidnapping, or to find a girl murdered in the bathroom to finally have AUSD and Principal Gardner say, ‘Hey, something needs to be done-enough is enough?’” She also spoke about the BDMS fight that was brought up by DeLuna.

Jamie Clee said that she was a parent with children in the second, fourth, and sixth grades. “I am here tonight to address my concerns with the violence and lack of classroom learning from disruptive students,” she said. “Why do I feel as if I am dropping my children off at juvenile halls?” In a written statement detailing her comments, she states, “The parents in this community are talking about a STRIKE!! We are ready to stop sending our kids into schools in which they feel scared, unprotected and are always looking over their shoulders.”

Although most speakers at the meeting expressed dismay with how the schools are being managed, AUSD did have supporters speaking up as well.

Angie Jorgenson, Deer Valley Band Booster Vice President, said she had children attending both DVHS and DRMS. “I am here in support of Deer Valley in light of recent events in the media and on campus,” she said.

Jorgenson said she did not want to, “discount anything that has been said tonight,” and said other speakers had expressed, “valid concerns,” but that some had, “let their anger get the best of them.” She called for better communication, and said, “We need to stop placing blame and start presenting solutions.” She called DVHS, “a good school.” She also indicated that the attention being given to the “problem group” was causing a false impression. “I believe the pervasive negativity by the community and the media is taking a toll on our kids and teachers.”

Velma Wilson, a youth education advisor with the local NAACP, said that she had been to Deer Valley Plaza with Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, and had spoken with some of the students there. She said that, “some of [the misbehavior] is because of a bad home life.” She went on to say, “Kids want to keep it up because of the media,” arguing that media reports about students acting out actually encourage that type of behavior.

Following Wilson’s statement, board member Claire Smith indicated her agreement. “I went and I helped at school,” she said. The problem is not with every child. It’s with a small group of children.” Referring to the reference made by Wilson to some of the children having a bad home life, she said, “You absolutely do grasp the situation. It’s a community working together issue. It starts with supporting these kids, and telling them they’re good kids.”

Other speakers challenged those in attendance to spend less time complaining, and more time at school helping out.

At one point, board president Joy Motts called on Bob Sanchez, Director, Student Support Services with AUSD, to comment. “The city has changed,” he said. “We are trying to do the best we can.” He went on to talk about having a “discipline matrix.” He also referenced an agreement he said the district has with the American Civil Liberty Union regarding suspensions and expulsions.

In the end, concerns with violence, both on and off school campuses, appear to be coming to a head, given the talk of a strike and the fact that different groups of disaffected parents seem to be coalescing. The issue has been a major point of discussion among candidates for school board, and will certainly remain a focus leading up to the November 4 election and beyond.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, at the AUSD office at 510 G Street. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m.

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Congressman McNerney announces grant for Antioch to hire five more police officers

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-09) announced today that the Antioch police department would receive a federal grant to allow the department to hire at least five additional officers.

Rep. McNerney wrote to the Justice Department encouraging officials to consider Antioch for the funding, which will allow the city to continue to deter gang violence and related crimes. The police department will also place an emphasis on hiring veterans with the new money.

The men and women of Antioch PD are working hard to keep their community safe,” said Rep. McNerney, “and I am glad to support their efforts by helping bring home federal money to let them put more officers on the street.”

The estimated amount of federal funds to be awarded over the three-year grant period is $625,000, which will be distributed though the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

Congressman McNerney is a strong supporter of the COPS program. Over the summer he wrote an amendment that was passed by the House of Representatives allocating additional money to the COPS program for law enforcement agencies to purchase needed technology. He also wrote a bill that would encourage more hiring of veterans as police officers through the COPS program, building on the success Antioch has had hiring former service members.

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Residents enjoy Delta Thunder speed boat races on Antioch waterfront

Monday, October 6th, 2014
SST 45 capsule boat races on the river in Antioch 10 05 14 Residents enjoy Delta Thunder speed boat races on Antioch waterfront

An SST-45 capsule boat races on the river in Antioch on Sunday, October 5, 2014 as part of the Delta Thunder V competition.

By Allen Payton

Antioch residents enjoyed watching the Delta Thunder V speed races on the Antioch waterfront on Sunday, October 5, 2014.

Unfortunately, the races couldn’t be held on Saturday, due to too much debris in the water. By that night, the big boats had left. So, the only ones left to race on Sunday afternoon were the SST-45 capsule speed boats.

But, a good turn-out by competitors and spectators helped the event turn out well. The races were held in memory of the late Antioch Councilman Gary Agopian and his widow Robin was on hand to receive a plaque honoring him, Sunday morning.

The event, organized by Frank Lozano of Inland Marine in Antioch, was a benefit for the Rivertown Jamboree non-profit organization working to bring that event back to Antioch’s downtown, next year.

For more information visit www.rivertownjamboree.com.

 

Welcome Race Fans sign Residents enjoy Delta Thunder speed boat races on Antioch waterfront

SST 45 takes turn bridge in background Residents enjoy Delta Thunder speed boat races on Antioch waterfront

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Registration deadline for voting in November election is Monday, October 20

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Joseph E. Canciamilla, County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, announces that Monday, October 20, 2014 is the voter registration deadline for the November 4, 2014 Gubernatorial General Election. New voters, anyone who has moved, or has had a name change must register.

Voters may register online at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote. Voters may also obtain registration forms at government offices including City, County Offices, and DMV locations. The completed form must be delivered to the Contra Costa County Elections Office at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez no later than 5:00 pm on October 20, 2014, or be postmarked by October 20, 2014.

To be eligible to vote, a person must be a U.S. citizen who will be at least 18 years old by November 4, 2014 and not imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony. Anyone who becomes a newly naturalized citizen after the October 20, 2014 deadline may register and vote between October 21 and November 4, 2014. New citizens may register at the Contra Costa County Elections Office at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez and must present his or her Certificate of Naturalization.

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Push for election poll workers continues in Contra Costa County

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

The election is just a month away, but there is still time for those interested in serving their community and making $125 in the process to sign up to work at a local voter precinct on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Contra Costa County is in need of civic-minded men and women ages 16 and older to be poll workers in all areas of the county. Poll workers are urgently needed in San Ramon and Danville. Elections officials also say that bilingual poll workers (English/Spanish, English/Japanese, English/Korean, English/Tagalog, English/Chinese, English/Vietnamese and English/Hindi) are especially needed.

There is no better way to serve your community, nor a more important part you can play on Election Day than being a poll worker,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa Registrar of Voters. “It is our poll workers who serve to keep our voting process open, accessible and fair.”

No prior experience is necessary and training is provided. Poll workers receive a stipend for their service, which includes attending a two-hour required training and working 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day. They will receive a special pin denoting their service. Serving as a poll worker does not have any bearing on Social Security or unemployment status, according to State law.

Poll workers don’t have to be politically active or belong to a political party, Contra Costa County Election officials said. Poll workers are required to remain neutral while working on Election Day.

County and State employees are encouraged to apply.

High School students who are at least 16 and have a grade point average of 2.5 or above may serve as poll workers. Student poll workers will receive a stipend and may fulfill community service requirements.

Those interested in being a poll worker must be registered to vote in California, or a permanent resident in the United States, according to state election law.

For more information, visit www.cocovote.us. To apply, email eo@vote.cccounty.us or call the Elections Division at (925) 335-7873.

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County Elections Office to provide drop-off boxes to enable easier voting, this year

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Contra Costa residents will find it a little easier to vote this upcoming election, as the County Elections Office is teaming up with City Clerks to provide several convenient “CoCo Vote-N-Go” drop off locations prior to and on Election Day.

Brentwood, Antioch, Pittsburg, San Ramon, Orinda, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Richmond, San Pablo, Hercules, and Pinole are among the cities who are participating in this effort. The secure, steel drop-off boxes will be in place at those city halls starting the week of Oct. 13 – one week after permanent vote-by-mail and absentee voters receive ballots. Days and hours of availability will vary by city.

We are excited to join with our City partners in offering this option for our fast growing number of vote by mail voters,” said County Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla in announcing the new service. “In the future, voters should expect to have an even wider range of drop locations in their local communities.”

The distinguishable red boxes will be available during normal city business hours. City staff members will also have the popular “I Voted” stickers upon request for those who drop off their ballots.

County elections officials will regularly pick up collected ballots.

Ballots may also be dropped off 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the County Elections Office in Martinez, located at 555 Escobar St., or at any polling place on Election Day.

For more information about voting by mail, call 925-335-7800 or visit the County Elections Website at www.cocovote.us.

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