Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Pittsburg High students arrested during large, anti-Trump protest in Antioch, four schools on lock-down

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Principal marched with them, Pittsburg Superintendent downplays, Antioch Police Chief wants answers

By Lieutenant Tony Morefield #3320, Antioch Police Watch Commander Patrol Division and Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, at approximately 10:04 AM, the Antioch Police Department received word from the Pittsburg Police Department of a large (Anti-Trump) protest of approximately 200 to 400 Pittsburg High School Students along with their Principal headed into the City of Antioch. These protestors headed through Century Plaza in Pittsburg and into Antioch on Auto Center Way and Sycamore Drive, causing significant hazard and traffic delays in the area.

They then made their way to the Antioch High School campus in an apparent effort to involve students there. Antioch High was placed on lockdown, but this did not stop the protestors from damaging school property (knocking down fences and kicking over trash cans) before leaving that campus and heading toward Antioch Middle School. Antioch Middle was also placed on lockdown as was Live Oak High School and nearby Fremont Elementary School due to the protest, though the protestors never made it that far.

These Pittsburg High protestors continued to cause havoc on Antioch campuses and in the surrounding neighborhoods for over two hours and 15 Antioch Police Officers were tied up dealing with this protest causing a significant strain on resources. Evening shifts to be called in early. This resulted in numerous priority calls for service in the city having to wait for officers to respond.

Three male juveniles, ages 13, 15 and 17, all Pittsburg residents, were arrested during the protest: one for throwing a dangerous object at a police car, trespassing on school grounds and being a disruptive presence at school, one for inciting a fight with an area resident, trespassing on school grounds and resisting a police officer, and one for assaulting a police officer.

There is no estimate on any damage caused to Antioch High or Antioch Middle School at this time. It appears that very few Antioch students were involved in this incident. Most of the Pittsburg High Students eventually walked back to Century Plaza in Pittsburg and a few were rounded up onto school buses and taken back to their campus.

Chief Cantando Responds, Shares Pittsburg Superintendent’s Message

“In a post on the Antioch Police Department’s Facebook page at about 3:30 p.m., Chief Allan Cantando wrote the following:

“Many of you have inundated our department with inquiry regarding the incident on Century Blvd., Sycamore Dr., and in front of Antioch High School regarding student protestors in our city. Your observations were correct. Today, at approximately 10:00 AM students from Pittsburg High School and Black Diamond High School (in Pittsburg) marched to the City of Antioch and blocked traffic, knocked over garbage cans, assaulted one of our police officers, and trespassed at Antioch High School trying to incite Antioch High School students who were in class. As a result, three Pittsburg students were arrested.

The actions of these students caused the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) to respond by locking down Antioch High School, Antioch Middle School, Live Oak High School, and Fremont Elementary School. During this incident, these students were accompanied by Pittsburg High School Principal, Todd Whitmire. We are still confirming, but there is some indication that this incident began as a rally at Pittsburg High School.

This incident tied up 15 Antioch Police Officers for approximately 2 hours.

During this incident I was in direct contact with AUSD Superintendent, Stephanie Anello, who immediately took a leadership role in assisting our department. During my conversation with Anello, I requested she contact Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Schulze to send an automated message to the Pittsburg students’ parents indicating that their children were off campus, out of the city of Pittsburg, and involved in a protest in Antioch. Approximately two hours later, the following statement was issued by Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent, Janet Schulze:

‘This Presidential election has been especially emotional. In dealing with differences and moving forward, we have to respect feelings and work in community. Today some of our high school students, like many across the Bay Area and country, organized, via social media, a peaceful protest and walk-out to protest the Presidential election.

The District always prefers to have all students in class, however, we do understand some students are passionate about the recent election.

Our staff and Pittsburg Police Department followed procedures to insure their safety, which is always a top priority. Some of the students returned to the high school and a group of approximately 200 students headed towards Antioch High School. The District informed Antioch High School and sent busses to pick up students outside Antioch High School.

Unfortunately, a small number of the students were unresponsive to directives to return to school and get on the bus. Another group of students decided to walk back to the high school. Those situations will be managed on an individual basis and students will receive appropriate consequences for their behaviors.

At this time, students have returned to school. We appreciate the professionalism and cooperation of the Antioch High School staff and the Antioch Police Department in working with us and the Pittsburg Police Department to insure all students remain safe.’

Although I appreciate the comments made by PUSD Superintendent Schulze, the statement is extremely brief and does not adequately portray the incident. This incident raises serious concerns as it impacted the police services to our Antioch citizens as well as to the Pittsburg Citizens. Because of the impact to the City of Antioch, I will be attending the next PUSD board meeting to ask several questions including:

1. Was there a school or district sanctioned Anti-Trump rally?

2. Did school or district staff encourage the protest?

3. Was school staff aware the students planned on leaving the campus?

4. Were parents aware that their students would be participating in the rally?

5. When students left the campus, were they supervised? If so, by whom?

6. What is the district policy regarding student to staff supervision ratios during off-campus activities?

7. When the students left the campus, when and how were parents informed?

8. If the students were supervised, will the district take disciplinary action against the students who committed criminal acts?

9. What was the schools plan or policy to deal with a child who may be injured during an off campus protest should it occur?

Lastly, I am extremely proud of our officers, AUSD staff, AUSD students, Pittsburg Police Department, and the citizens who patiently waited for us to respond to their calls for service.”

Antioch School District Message to Parents

Anello shared the message sent out to parents, Thursday afternoon, through the auto-dialer from Associate Superintendent for Educational Services, Dr. Adam Clark regarding the incident yesterday.

Good afternoon,

This morning a large number of students from Pittsburg High School walked out of school to protest. These students traveled on foot to Antioch High School and attempted to convince other students to join their protest. Police from Antioch and Pittsburg were there to ensure that all students remained safe. As a precautionary measure, Antioch High, Antioch Middle, Fremont, and Live Oak all locked down for approximately one half hour. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have further questions or concerns.

Thank you,


Antioch High Principal’s Message

In an email message to school district staff, Antioch High School Principal Louie Rocha thanked his school’s staff and students for how they responded to the situation and reported that some Pittsburg High students made it onto the Antioch campus.

I want to commend our school staff for their collective effort in securing our campus during the School Lockdown. Thanks to the team work of our site safety security, front office staff, teachers, school administrators and students we were able to prevent our students from being in harm’s way of a large number of Pittsburg High School students who walked out of school this morning and attempted to enter our campus.

There was a small group of Pittsburg students who were able to gain access via the Don Richardson Gym entrance. The non-students ran through the PE area and exited out of campus on to 18th Street. The Antioch and Pittsburg Police Departments arrived on site to prevent the non-students from disrupting our school day. We had a small number of AHS students who exited the main entrance gate to join the unruly crowd. However once I informed them that I was going to lock down the school preventing them from re-entering they decided to return to campus without incident. The Pittsburg High School students continued down 18th and G Streets.

The lockdown continued because the non-students returned back to 18th Street in front of our main entrance and were escorted by the Antioch and Police Departments back to L Street in the direction of the city of Pittsburg. At that point, classes were released to their regular school schedule to their 5th period classes or first lunch.

I am proud of the team work demonstrated today and our students conduct when faced with unruly students from another high school. I am looking forward to the Veteran’s Day Holiday, and wish all of you an enjoyable weekend with your family and friends.

Louie Rocha

Principal of Antioch High School

Another Protest in Concord

At approximately 9:00 a.m. a witness reported a seeing a group of protesters walking on the Olivera Road overpass, above Route 242 in Concord, blocking traffic. They appeared to be of high school age and possibly from Mt. Diablo High School, nearby. A short time later, a police officer said the overpass was cleared, as the protesters had reached the other side, near Glenbrook Middle School.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch council candidate who lost offers his parting comments, thanks

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Dear Editor:

I take pride in knowing that our Democracy has once again allowed the people to exercise their right to vote. I also take pride in the fact that so many people voted for me in this election. Concession statements are hard, but are needed.

I wish congratulations to all the winners of the City of Antioch election. I know the final votes are not in, or certified, but I also know that with such a margin, this time, I will not accomplish the goal of obtaining a seat at the table. It was a well-fought campaign. And I am very proud that we stayed above the fray and respectfully debated and let the people decide the outcome.

I thank the more than 1,700 residents and community members that cast their vote for me in this election. I assure you that I will continue to fight for our needs as a City and as neighbors. I truly appreciate your support.

I thank my family for the support and kind words during the last 18 months of this effort. I love you, and let me assure you that I have used this effort to better myself, and to remember who I am.

Although I am disappointed by the outcome, I am not giving up in my growth and I will continue to be an active citizen in the process of repairing the City that I live in. I sincerely hope you will take similar actions in your Cities so that all communities will tackle today’s challenges.

I am very lucky for the great love and support of my wife Tina Chavez-Rouse. Her never-ending confidence in me, not only in my entire life (we met in High School), but her focused support of me during the last 18 months, has been a gift from God. She spoke up for me, collected signatures, helped me place signs, let us spend our family money, and helped me sculpt my statements.

Finally, to the people who did not vote for me. We have yet to meet. You have yet to hear my words, and get to know me. I think if I work hard, you will know me. And possibly then, we will, together, really take on the challenge of change. Remember, even at our City level, a small local race can change your life. Thank you.

Frederick Rouse


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County Elections office still has about a third of the ballots left to count from Tuesday night

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

By Allen Payton

According to County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla, there are still about 180,000 ballots to be counted in the county. As of the update Wednesday morning at 1:03 AM on the County Elections website, there were 305,123 ballots that were counted. That means about one-third of the ballots cast in Tuesday’s elections have yet to be counted.

“We have approximately 150,000 ballots in house and are expecting more as we pick up the boxes from the City Clerks, and from the mail-in ballots that can be received until Monday,” Canciamilla responded. “I would estimate that we will ultimately have around 180,000 in total.”

“We are having extra crews in today and tomorrow to process as much of the vote-by-mail that we can and hope to have two updates of the results, tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon,” he continued. “The balance of the ballots will not be completed until next week as we will have to process all of the regular ballots and update our records before we can finish with the provisionals.”

A provisional ballot is one that is turned in at the polls by a voter not voting in their assigned precinct. Those ballots get counted last.

For the latest elections information in the county, visit For state and federal races visit the California Secretary of State’s website at

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Wright has slight lead in Antioch Mayor’s race; Thorpe takes top spot, Wilson re-elected in Council race

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
Expected Antioch Mayor-elect Dr. Sean Wright celebrates the positive election results with Antioch business owner Elise Veal, other supporters, friends and family at Tailgaters on Tuesday night.

Dr. Sean Wright celebrates positive election results in his campaign for Mayor of Antioch, with Antioch business owner Elise Veal, other supporters, friends and family at Tailgaters on Tuesday night.

mayor-council-resultsBy Allen Payton

After trailing incumbent Wade Harper in the early returns in the race for Antioch Mayor, Tuesday night, Antioch Chamber of Commerce CEO and chiropractor Dr. Sean Wright pulled ahead with the 10:37 PM election results update from the County Elections website. He was celebrating his expected victory with family, friends and other supporters at Tailgaters in Antioch after the polls closed at 8:00 p.m.

The latest results show Wright had 7,368 votes for 34.66% of the vote, just 208 votes over Harper’s 7,160 giving him 33.69% of the vote. Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock was in third with 4,790 votes for 22.54%, and Gil Murillo who dropped out of the race and gave his support to Wright, still ended up with 1,883 votes for 8.89% of the vote.

In the council race, Lamar Thorpe pulled into first place ahead of incumbent Councilwoman Monica Wilson who leads fellow incumbent Councilwoman Mary Rocha. The top two vote-getters win.

The latest results show Thorpe with 8,242 votes for 25.97% of the vote, Wilson with 7,565 votes for 23.84% and Rocha, who said this will be her last campaign, trailing in third with 6,699 with 21.11%. Antioch contractor and business owner Kenny Turnage II was in a distant fourth place with 5,393 votes for 16.99% of the vote. He was followed by the two retirees, neither of whom spent more than $2,000 on their campaigns, Karl Dietzel with 1,986 votes for 6.26% and Fred Rouse with 1,785 votes for 5.62% of the vote. Dietzel had fallen during the campaign and injured his shoulder, limiting his ability to campaign. But, as of Monday he said he is healing.

Although there are still about one-third of the ballots left to be counted in the county, Wright was happy with the results and expects to hold on for the victory.

“Wow. There have been an incredible amount of calls, texts, posts, and private messages coming through the pipeline,” he shared when reached for comment, on Wednesday. “I appreciate everyone’s efforts throughout this campaign. A thank you to Lori Ogorchock, Wade Harper, and Gil Murillo for their commitment to our community.”

“Thank you to those that voted for me,” Wright continued. “To those that didn’t, I wish to work closely with you to make Antioch a place where we can all come together as one to live, work, play, and worship. We as a council have our work cut out for us. I’m excited to be your Mayor-elect.”

Last night, all Thorpe could say was “Wow.” However, on Wednesday, he offered more extensive comments.

“Thank you to citizens of Antioch,” he said. “I’m very proud I could earn their trust in leading our city through its next chapter.”

“Of course I want to thank my lovely wife Patrice for her support and encouraging me to run a couple months, and for the support of my daughter who enthusiastically woke up last night to make sure I was winning,” Thorpe said with a laugh.

An attempt to reach Harper for a comment asking if he had conceded the race, yet, was unsuccessful prior to publication times, as was an attempt to reach Wilson for comment on her re-election.

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Newcomer Sawyer-White in top spot in Antioch School Board race, Gibson-Gray re-elected, Hack is back

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
Sawyer-White from her campaign.

Sawyer-White from her campaign.

By Allen Payton

As the rest of the votes are still being counted by County Elections Division staff, as of Tuesday night’s results, in the Antioch School Board race challenger and newcomer Crystal Sawyer-White is barely in first place with 8,087 votes for 19.61% of the vote among the seven candidates seeking three seats. In second is incumbent Diane Gibson-Gray who appears to be re-elected for a third term with 7,511 votes for 18.22% of the vote and former school board member Gary Hack is in third place with 6,910 votes for 16.76%.

He’s ahead of fellow former school board member Joy Motts, who had 6,510 votes for 15.79% of the vote. Appointed incumbent Fernando Navarro came in a distant fifth place with 5,047 votes for 12.24%, followed by news site publisher Mike Burkholder in sixth with 4,109 votes and 9.19%, and the other appointed incumbent Alonzo Terry, placed last with 2,935 votes for 7.12% of the vote.

school-board-results-finalBoth Hack and Motts served on the board until each losing their re-election efforts in 2014. Both also applied for the appointments to fill board vacancies, last year and earlier this year, when Navarro and Terry were appointed, instead.

In a brief comment, Tuesday night, Sawyer-White wrote “Wow! I am so excited!”

“I would like to thank all my supporters, family and friends,” she stated on Wednesday. “I am humbled to be elected and looking forward to working with our Superintendent, Stephanie and all the board members. Let’s put our children first.”

Sawyer-White, Navarro and Terry were all backed by the California Charter Schools Association Advocates with independent expenditure financed mailers. Gibson-Gray, Hack and Motts were all supported by the Antioch Education Association, which is the local teachers’ union, which contributed directly to their campaigns, as well as paid for an independent expenditure mailer. The latter three also had the support of the California Schools Employees Association, which includes the district’s non-faculty staff, and the district’s management staff, which includes the principals. The management staff also supported Burkholder.

Neither Gibson-Gray nor Hack could be reached for comment prior to publication time.

According to County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla, the County Elections office still has approximately 180,000 votes to count in the county. They expect the next update to be provided Thursday afternoon and will be available on their website

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Husband and wife Antioch voters not on voter list at their usual polling place, but mystery solved by Elections Office

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

By Allen Payton

Long-time Antioch residents Malcolm and Rosanna Hunter vote in every election. Malcolm usually votes by mail. But, this year he decided to drop off his mail-in ballot at the polls. When they went to their usual polling place at Carmen Dragon Elementary School, their names weren’t on the list of registered voters.

Performing a search on the County Elections office website, using their home address, it shows their polling place is at Carmen Dragon Elementary, where Rosanna votes each election.

They had heard of problems like this occurring elsewhere throughout the country, or people’s votes being changed by the machine they’re using, or only seeing Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s and her running mate, Tim Kaine’s names on the ballot.

The Hunters called the County Elections office and Malcolm said the staff member, there confirmed they were on the list of registered voters and for voting at that polling location.

However, Rosanna was given a provisional ballot to cast her votes. They thought that means her ballot won’t be counted unless an election is close.

When reached for comment, Melissa Hickok of the County Elections Division office said, “They (the Hunters) are on the master voter list. The voter rosters are for people who are supposed to vote at that polling place. Those are the precinct voters for that precinct. Permanent vote-by-mail voters are not on the precinct rosters.”

“I’m showing her polling place at Carmen Dragon Elementary,” she added. “That polling place might have had more than one precinct. She might have been at the wrong table.

After doing a brief bit of research, Hickok said, “Carmen Dragon does have two precincts.”

Asked if the poll workers are trained to know that and instruct voters about it, she responded, “A seasoned poll worker would. I’m not sure how seasoned our staff was, out there.”

“Her provisional ballot will still be counted,” Hickok said. “Provisionals are not counted on Election Day. What we do is we count Election Day votes and vote-by-mail votes which are tied to the voter ID.”

“Then we look at the provisional ballots, last and we compare the name to their information in our system,” she explained. “Then if there hasn’t another ballot voted for by that person already, we run their ballot and it gets counted.”

“If she wants to go back and check the master voting list her name will be there,” Hickok stated.

“If she chooses to go back, have her ask for the inspector. Don’t talk to any of the front lines, about seeing the master voting list,” Hickok instructed. “If she (Mrs. Hunter) votes in the correct precinct, then her provisional wouldn’t get counted, because she had already voted.”

The polls close at 8:00 p.m., tonight. Election results will be posted to the Elections website,, throughout the night and will be updated by 5:00 pm on Thursday November 10th and then every Friday until the election is certified.

The county has until December 6th to certify the Presidential Election and until December 8th to certify all other items on the ballot.

Local election results will also be available throughout Election Night on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) beginning at 9:00 pm on Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99.

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Deputy Sheriffs Association provides last minute attack on Glover over August 1st recommendation letter for friend facing violent criminal charges

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Glover says he thought it was a recommendation letter for a job

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: We have made it a practice of not publishing articles regarding campaigns on Election Day. However, due to the seriousness of the issue and timing of when this information came to light, which we learned of last night, on this matter I am making an exception.

By Allen Payton

In a last minute attack in the campaign for Supervisor in District 5, the Contra Costa Deputy Sheriffs Association (DSA), on Monday morning, sent out a press release expressing concern about Supervisor Federal Glover writing a letter asking for leniency for a family friend facing criminal trial. The DSA is backing Martinez Councilwoman Anamarie Avila Farias in her campaign to unseat Glover.

In his letter sent to the court on August 1st, 2016, Glover “used his status and office to lobby for leniency from the District Attorney and Judge for a family friend arrested after a violent crime spree,” the Deputy Sheriffs claim.

In the letter written on Glover’s official Supervisor letterhead, (see below) he wrote “It is with a great deal of pleasure that I write this letter of support for (the defendant’s name was redacted).”

However, when reached for comment, Glover said he thought it was a recommendation letter for a job.

“This is not uncommon. This is done all the time,” he said.

“It was written over an individual that I’d known and his family,” Glover explained. “I thought it was for a job. It was a very generic letter that we do all the time. I was unaware that it had anything to do with a court case or an incident at a bar, that he was involved in. This was a letter that his father requested it.

“The letter has nothing to do with a court room,” he repeated.

Asked when the Deputy Sheriffs knew about the letter and why it came out the day before the election, DSA President Shawn Welch said, “A citizen came to us who had done a public records request, last month and he sent it to us. I received it last Thursday.”

“We were kind of going back and forth and we drafted a letter and we decided to send it out and we sent a press release, yesterday around 10:00 a.m,” he continued.

“It’s been on our Facebook page, which has gotten over 11,000 reach,” Welch shared. “The guy was arrested in the middle of July and Glover wrote the letter August 1st.”

“We had done all our opp (opposition) research (on Glover) for the IE (independent expenditure campaign) we’re running prior to that,” he added.

Welch provided a copy of Glover’s letter and documents about the charges against Glover’s friend, which can be viewed, here: glover-letter-court-documents

After receiving Glover’s explanation, Welch responded, “The letter was sent to the DA. If I send a letter of recommendation I send it to the person who requested it not the person it is about.”

“Sounds like an excuse,” he added.

The press release had more to say about Glover’s letter.

“In stark contrast to his jovial tone are the suspect’s violent criminal charges. The Supervisor is calling in favors for a suspect arrested after assaulting a man with a firearm, attempting to rob two women at gunpoint, and threatening to kill his victims,” the press release read.

“For Supervisor Glover to lobby for leniency for a dangerous repeat criminal jeopardizes the public and the efforts of hundreds of law enforcement officers throughout the County” said Welch. “The men and women of the Deputy Sheriffs Association have done an excellent job of protecting the people of the County, even during difficult times. Asking a political favor from the District Attorney to be lenient on dangerous criminals makes our job unnecessarily more difficult and dangerous”.

Welch added, “It would be a travesty of justice if Supervisor Glover’s request of leniency resulted in reduced charges for this dangerous criminal. Peace officers did their job in this case, putting a bad guy on trial. A political favor could snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in the war on crime. Frankly, the mere attempt to use one’s position of political power to gain leniency for a violent criminal is inappropriate and epitomizes the disconnect between Glover and the safety of the public in this county”.

“Every politician who lobbies for special leniency for violent criminals in this county can fully expect to be held accountable by the Deputy Sheriffs Association and its constituents. The truth about political lobbying for leniency is that it puts the public at risk. It does not put the public’s safety first and creates a dangerous situation for Deputies”, said Welch.

The press release also stated the “DSA is asking for District Attorney Mark Peterson, the Deputy District Attorneys Association, and the Sheriff to address Glover’s letter, and to reassure the public that political interference from a County Supervisor has no place in criminal justice, and that Glover’s letter will not result in more favorable plea terms for the suspect in custody.

This is only one example why the Deputy Sheriffs Association has endorsed Anamarie Avila Farias for Supervisor to replace Glover. Anamarie Farias’ steadfast support of public safety is the primary reason she won the overwhelming endorsement of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Anamarie has also earned the endorsement of police in Pinole, Hercules, Martinez, Antioch, plus the County Firefighters Local 1230.”

Multiple attempts to reach Glover for comment for this story were unsuccessful before publication time. Disrict 5 includes most of the portion of Antioch north of Highway 4 and west of Highway 160.

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Stay up-to-date on local election results, Tuesday night

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

First numbers will be available shortly after 8:00 pm

You won’t have to wait long to get updated election results from Contra Costa County Elections Division on Tuesday night.

Results of vote-by-mail ballots for the Presidential General Election that have been returned through last Friday will be available shortly after the polls close at 8:00 pm on Election Night.

Meanwhile, with results being collected from precincts throughout the County, the first update can be expected at about 9:30 pm, with results updated about every 30 minutes until all precincts report.

The availability of updated reports will be communicated via Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #CoCoVote2016.  Changes to the reporting schedule, if any, will also be communicated on these social media sites.

The Contra Costa Elections Division social media pages are:

Election results will be posted to the Elections website,, throughout the night and will be updated by 5:00 pm on Thursday November 10th and then every Friday until the election is certified.

The county has until December 6th to certify the Presidential Election and until December 8th to certify all other items on the ballot.

Local election results will also be available throughout Election Night on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) beginning at 9:00 pm on Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99.

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