Local voters to have exclusive early access

Contra Costa County only county in California able to cast votes a full week before June 7 Primary

Map showing the seven locations Contra Costa voters will be able to cast ballots at a full week ahead of the June 7 Presidential Primary Election. (GOOGLE MAPS)
Map showing the seven locations Contra Costa voters will be able to cast ballots at a full week ahead of the June 7 Presidential Primary Election. (GOOGLE MAPS)

By DAVID SCHOLZ
Martinez Tribune

In this year of unprecedented presidential politics, Contra Costa County voters will be the only ones in California to express their opinions a full week before the June 7 Primary.

All registered voters, beginning May 31, will now have unprecedented flexibility to receive and cast their ballots at any of the seven Regional Early Voting sites throughout the county.

The sites are geographically balanced and are located in convenient and accessible locations.

• Prewett Water Park Multi-Purpose Room, 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch;

• Bay Hills Community Church, 4555 Hilltop Dr., Richmond;

• Lafayette Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette;

• San Ramon Community Center at Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon;

• Pittsburg City Hall, 65 Civic Ave., Pittsburg;

• The Salvation Army Church, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord.

The seventh regional site is in downtown Martinez at the Contra Costa Elections Office, 555 Escobar St.

These sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, through Friday June 3, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 4.

Paul Burgarino, Community Education and Engagement Specialist, explained efforts were made to select a variety of sites that were geographically balanced, represented work hubs, available parking, and accessible to transportation centers as well as in proximity to major thoroughfares in the county.

So starting May 31, a voter who works in San Francisco but whose precinct is in Discovery Bay can jump off at the Bart in Lafayette and vote at the Lafayette Learning Center, he said.

The biggest logistical challenge associated with this unprecedented effort is having ballots for every single precinct in the county available at all seven regional sites. Burgarino said that rovers will be on hand to deliver ballots to the sites if a need arises.

This program comes as state lawmakers are discussing future reforms aimed at making it easier for Californians to vote.

“While discussions to try and modernize our outdated voting processes continue at the state level, we are taking advantage of the flexibility already given us under existing law to offer our voters as much access to early voting as possible this year,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters.

Contra Costa County is adding this third option for voting in addition to voting by mail and voting at the polls on Election Day.

In addition to the Regional Voting Center sites, vote-by-mail voters can continue to drop off their ballots at “CoCo Vote-N-Go” drop-off boxes at all 19 city hall buildings and the County Administration building at 651 Pine St., Martinez.

“Our goal is to maximize the opportunities that people have (at their disposal) to exercise their right to vote,” Burgarino said.

For more information on Regional Early Voting, visit www.cocovote.us.

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