MARTINEZ -- Voters in Antioch, Moraga and San Ramon will go to the polls on Nov. 5 in increasingly rare odd-year elections.

Antioch will decide whether to levy a half-cent sales tax for police services and anti-blight measures. Moraga will consider a $192 annual parcel tax for schools. And San Ramon will choose a mayor and two council members.

San Ramon residents will also take up whether to move their mayoral and council elections from odd to even years.

Most public agencies have already made the switch to even years as a cost-saving measure. The move allows local agencies to share election costs with presidential, congressional, state and other local agency contests.

Contra Costa Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla's office sent vote by mail ballots out Oct. 7. Residents who have not received their ballots by midweek should contact the elections office at 925-335-7800 and request a replacement.

The sample ballots look different from what voters have received in prior elections -- thanks to improved printing technology, the ballot statements, measure arguments and candidate statements are included in a single bound booklet rather than multiple pamphlets.

The registration deadline to vote in the election is Oct. 21. Register online at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote or pick up a form at state and county offices.

Residents who wish to observe voting equipment preparation and testing underway through Oct. 24 are welcome. Check in at the Elections Department's office at 555 Escobar St. in Martinez. Photo identification and signatures will be required to access the secure testing observation area.

Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, lvorderbrueggen@bayareanewsgroup.com, politicswithlisav.blogspot.com or Twitter.com/lvorderbrueggen.