California’s voter guide: Longer than ‘Grapes of Wrath,’ shorter than ‘Crime and Punishment’

Have you read your official California Voter Information Guide yet? You should get started: It’s going to take a while.

The ample mailer comprises analyses from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, arguments for and against candidates’ statements propositions and the formal text for all those propositions.

Most people can read about 200 words per minute. At that speed, it would take about 15 hours to complete the whole thing. (Instead, you can have a look at The Sacramento Bee Voter Guide, which offers a streamlined summary of the races at about one fifth the size.)

The state guide price about $15 million print to make and email. This graph compares the amount of words in the California Voter Information Guide together with the number of words in several works of literature.


Data Tracker is a regular feature that breaks down the numbers behind today’s news. Explore more trends at

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