Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2020  
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  Ballot Myths Abound in Richmond
October 29, 2020

There are two ballot-related issues that people are contacting me about.

The first is a claim that their ballot is defective because it doesn’t include City Council candidates. They want to know how they can obtain a proper replacement ballot. I imagine a lot of head slapping when I explain that in the new district system, their district is not up for election this year. People are really disappointed and feel somewhat cheated not to be able to vote for City Council candidates. I don’t blame them; I never did like the district system that was forced on us.

The second is the great City Hall ballot box heist. It seems a number of people have deposited their ballots at the City Hall ballot box and then used the Contra Costa County tracking system ( to find out if their ballot has been received by the County. Not finding verification of receipt, they concluded their ballot had been stolen.

I brought this to the attention of City Clerk Pamela Christian who provided the following information:

Hi Mayor and Councilmembers,

I spoke with the County Elections Division Official this morning, and the County is aware of the information regarding ballot theft being reported on social media and have no reason to believe it is true; however, they take these reports seriously.

The ballot box at Richmond City Hall has been inspected by the County, and they have no reasons to believe that the box has been tampered with.  Ballots are picked up by the County on a daily basis during the week and on Saturdays.

The County has contacted the individuals making the claim to let them know what their options are.   Individuals should keep in mind that there is a delay in time, approximately three to four business days, for a ballot to be reported as received by the County. 

Options include:

Individuals my visit: or call (925) 3335-7800 to track their ballots or have a ballot reissued.

Individuals may also visit: – click on Regional Early Voting Sites.  Early voting  begins Friday, October 30, 2020, a snap shot of the dates and times are below.  To get the complete schedule, click on the above link.

Please share this information.

Pamela Christian, City Clerk
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA  94804
Office: (510) 620-6513

What I don’t understand is why people don’t just put their ballot in a mailbox. That’s what I did. I mailed my ballot on October 24, and it was received by the County on October 27 and accepted on October 28. I used the tracker system and received the message shown below: