Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters: Joe Canciamilla

Born and raised in Pittsburg, Joe’s public service began at age 17 when he was elected to the Pittsburg Board of Education becoming the youngest elected official in the country.

Joe’s public service continued on the Pittsburg City Council, serving twice as Mayor. He was elected to the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors in 1996 serving as Chair in 1997-98; he also represented the county on LAFCO, as a member of the Executive Board of the California Association of Counties, Delta Diablo Sanitation District, and the Contra Costa Transportation Agency. Joe was elected to the California State Assembly in 2000 representing the 11th District and served until terming out at the end of 2006.

As Supervisor, Joe was a leader in changing the County Urban Limit Line that protected the 2700 acre Cowell Ranch, creating advances in the County Industrial Safety Ordinance, revitalizing the closed Los Medanos Hospital into a thriving Community based Health Center, building new transitional housing for homeless families, and laying the foundation for a new county animal shelter.

As an Assemblyman, Joe obtained funding to complete the public purchase of and to gain State Park status for Cowell Ranch as well as help to fund many other land acquisitions around the county. As Chair of the Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife and Select Committees on Protection of Inland Waterways Joe was part of the team that successfully negotiated among the major Southern California water agencies the first major settlement agreement to protect the Colorado River. Along with Assemblyman Keith Richman (R)-Northridge, Joe was a founding member of the Bi-Partisan Group which strove to bring members from both parties together in honest dialogue to find real solutions as well as serving as Co-convener of the Moderate Democratic Caucus.

Following his service in the Legislature Joe returned to the private sector as the second generation owner of Pittsburg Funeral Chapel and to his law firm which specializes in providing strategic, legal and political planning advice to a wide variety of clients.

Joe has returned to public service as Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, initially appointed to fill the remaining term of Steve Weir. He was elected to the position in 2014 for a four-year term.

Joe graduated from Pittsburg High School, earned his Bachelor’s from St. Mary’s College and J.D. from John F. Kennedy School of Law.

Joe is married to Dr. Laura Stephenson-Canciamilla, Ed.D. a career educator and current Education Consultant as well as a member of the Pittsburg Board of Education and California School Boards Association Board of Directors.

Office Staff

Our office has 30 permanent employees who are responsible for voter services, mapping, candidate services, poll worker recruitment and management, polling place selection, information technology, and warehouse operations.

Temporary Workers

In addition to our permanent staff, each election requires upwards of 100 temporary workers to meet our production needs. Temporary workers update voter registration records, support warehouse logistics, answer phone calls from voters, issue ballots at our Regional Early Voting Sites, and extract and count ballots.

Poll Workers

Poll workers are the public face of an election, representing our office to voters on Election Day. Poll workers ensure that the voters we serve have a positive experience at the polls. It takes more than 1,600 poll workers to conduct a countywide election in Contra Costa County. Sound interesting? Sign up to be a poll worker.


Elections are open civic exercises. They are viewable to the public, including members of the media, campaign representatives, and election monitors. Observers are permitted to watch all aspects of the polling place operation as long as they do not interfere with the voting process and they respect voter privacy. Observers are not required to introduce themselves, but they sometimes have a letter from the Elections Division or the Secretary of State. Observers can also watch the counting at our office.