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San Ramon Valley ready for Election Day

Polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Election Day is on the horizon for San Ramon Valley residents and the rest of the record-setting number of registered voters across California.

Polls will be open across Contra Costa County from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

County election officials reported that 610,339 residents are registered to vote in Tuesday's General Election.

A record 19.4 million Californians registered across the state, up from 18.2 million in 2012, according to the office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. More than 78% of eligible Californians are registered, Padilla said.

For San Ramon Valley voters, a variety of issues are on their ballot: from federal posts like president, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to state questions like Assembly, State Senate and 17 propositions to local issues such as San Ramon City Council, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors District 3, a countywide transportation sales tax and a BART facilities bond measure.

To find your polling location for in-person voting Tuesday, visit the county elections website or call 335-7800.

Completed and signed vote-by-mail ballots can be returned in several ways, including at any of the 26 "CoCo Vote-N-Go" drop boxes -- without postage -- open across the county through close of business Tuesday.

Mail-in ballots can also be mailed back to county election officials using the provided return envelope. Voters must attach 68 cents worth of postage when mailing their ballots, and only mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Tuesday will be counted.

Vote-by-mail ballots can also be submitted, without postage, to the County Elections Office at 555 Escobar St. in Martinez during business hours through Election Day, or at any polling place in the county on Election Day.

For more information, visit the county elections website.

San Ramon City Council: Two seats on the City Council are up for election, with incumbents Scott Perkins and Phil O'Loane facing off against challengers Susmita Nayak and Sabina Zafar in the race for a pair of four-year terms.

Perkins has served on the council continuously since November 2003, and O'Loane was elected for the first time in November 2011. San Ramon used to hold city elections in odd years, until voters approved of switching to even-year elections three years ago.

Zafar, a business technology director, is seeking her first term on the council. She currently serves on the city's Transportation Advisory Committee.

Nayak, an engineer who lives in San Ramon, is also competing for a first term and has no experience on city commissions or committees.

San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson faces no opposition in his bid for re-election as mayor this year. He has held the mayor's seat since November 2011.

Board of Supervisors: Steve Barr of Brentwood and Diane Burgis of Oakley are running to succeed Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Piepho, who will leave the board in January after serving for 12 years.

The seat represents the county's 3rd Supervisorial District, which includes Blackhawk, Diablo, Tassajara Valley, Antioch, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen and Oakley.

Barr and Burgis finished first and second, respectively, among the six candidates in the June primary election for the District 3 seat, setting the stage for this month's runoff election.

Burgis currently serves on the East Bay Regional Park District board and served one term on the Oakley City Council.

Barr serves on the Brentwood City Council and is also a member of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

BART Board of Directors: In the race to represent the San Ramon Valley on the BART Board of Directors, three-term incumbent Gail Murray faces a lone challenger, Debora Allen.

Murray has represented District 1 on the BART board since first being elected in 2004, and she is serving as board vice president this year. She is president of her own consulting firm specializing in public transit policy and planning, and she previously served as mayor, City Council member and planning commissioner in Walnut Creek.

Allen has a 25-year business career, including as a CEO, business owner, chief financial officer, tax manager and auditor, according to her campaign website. She ran for State Assembly in June to represent the 14th District, which extends northeast from Walnut Creek, but the Republican finished third in the four-person primary election.

District 1 includes Alamo, Danville, Blackhawk, San Ramon, Martinez, Lafayette, Concord, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Clayton and other unincorporated parts of Contra Costa County. It contains the Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and Lafayette BART stations.

Other regional races:

* State Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) and Republican challenger Joseph A. Rubay advanced out of the June primary and will compete this fall to represent the 7th Senatorial District, which includes the San Ramon Valley.

* Freshman Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) and Democrat challenger Cheryl Cook-Kallio, a teacher and former Pleasanton City Council member, are vying to represent the San Ramon Valley and the rest of the 16th Assembly District.

* In the 15th Congressional District including San Ramon, two-term Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) faces Republican challenger Danny R. Turner.

* First-term U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and Republican challenger Roger Allen Petersen are competing for the 11th Congressional District, which includes Danville.

* Three incumbents and one challenger filed for election to fill one of three at-large board seats for the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San), which provides sewer service to much of the San Ramon Valley.

Board members Tad. J. Pilecki, Paul H. Causey and James A. Nejedly are each seeking another term, and challenger Susan Noe Welsh, a business owner, aims to unseat one of those three.

Ballot measures:

* The 17 statewide propositions on Tuesday's ballot cover a range of issues, including marijuana legalization, the death penalty, $9 billion school facilities bond, a new cigarette tax, gun safety, condoms in adult films and single-use plastic bags.

* BART this fall is also asking voters in its service jurisdiction to approve of the agency issuing $3.5 billion in general obligation bonds to fund system and infrastructure improvements. The BART bond, Measure RR, requires two-thirds voter approval to pass.

* Also needing support from more than two-thirds of participating voters is Measure X, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority's plan for another 0.5% sales tax to support transportation projects -- this one, a 30-year tax that is estimated to generate $2.8 billion in funding.

* Voters in Alamo are being asked to approve Measure Y, which seeks to increase the appropriations limit for Alamo Parks and Recreation (County Service Area R-7A) to $1,650,000 and adjusted for changes in the cost-of-living and population, effective for 2015-16 to 2018-19. Measure Y requires a simple majority to pass.

No elections: The Danville Town Council leads the list of local offices whose elections were canceled after the number of candidates matched the number of available seats.

In Danville's case, the council opted to forgo an election and directly appoint the only candidates who filed: incumbents Newell Arnerich (sixth term) and Renee Morgan (second term) and newcomer Lisa Blackwell, a 30-year Danville resident who spent the past three years serving on the town's Parks and Leisure Services Commission.

Their upcoming four-year terms are set to begin in December. Six-term Danville Councilman Mike Doyle did not file for re-election this time around.

Other local offices that were filled by appointment were San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education, San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District board, Dublin San Ramon Services District board, Diablo Community Services District board and Contra Costa Community College District board seat representing Ward 2, which includes Alamo.

Editor's note: Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.

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