Contra Costa County officials: delay in election results no cause for concern

Contra Costa County officials: delay in election results no cause for concern
Photos at Richmond Memorial Auditorium's polling site by Mike Kinney.

By Mike Kinney

The shift to mail voting as a COVID-19 safety measure has sparked concerns over possible delays in declaring winners. Such concerns are unwarranted in Contra Costa County, where voters have been casting ballots either by mail or at their neighborhood voting place for the last 20 years, said Scott Konopasek, assistant registrar of voters.

No elections results are finalized until Nov. 30, as the County legally has 30 days to certify them.

“This election is just like any other election,” Konopasek  said. “We have been doing this for a long time and we are very good at what we do here.”

As of Monday evening, 448,000 ballots had been recorded Countywide, or about 64 percent of registered voters.

“We still have about 180,000 to 200,000 more votes to come in,” he said.

Some of those votes were trickling into the Bermuda Room in the Richmond Memorial Auditorium on Monday, one of the County’s polling sites. The auditorium is typically a polling site, but with the pandemic this year both the voting stations and people were obviously more spaced out.

Voting was smooth-going Monday afternoon, Elections staffer Steve Sorrells said. Voters were directed to new touch-screen voting machines. Foot traffic into the polling site had been quite steady throughout the day, Sorrells added. Only two people forgot to bring their facial masks. Rather than being turned away, Election staff had masks to provide them, along with hand sanitizer located throughout the Bermuda Room.