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Thousands of Contra Costa Ballots Still Need To Be Counted

Election officials say as many as 60,000 ballots need to be counted; some close races may not be determined until next week

As many as 60,000 late ballots still need to be counted from Tuesday night's election, county officials say.

County Clerk Steve Weir based that prediction on the fact that about 20 percent of vote-by-mail ballots are turned in at the polls on Election Day.

That, combined with the ballots that arrived on Saturday and Monday plus 12,000 to 15,000 provisional ballots, make for a lot of work left for election officials.

Weir said he'll know by 5 p.m. Thursday exactly how many ballots are left uncounted. He said they might not all be counted until sometime next week.

That could leave several elections in doubt until then.

One of them is the race between Pleasant Hill planning commissioners Tim Flaherty and Jim Bonato. Flaherty is ahead of Bonato by only 49 votes. That could very well change once the late ballots are counted. 

The voter turnout right now for Contra Costa County is 60 percent. The late ballots are expected to raise that to 80 percent.

The county has until Dec. 4 under state law to certify the election.

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