There are two competing measures about the death penalty: Proposition 62 and Proposition 66.

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Jeremy B. White
September 19, 2016 3:37 PM

If you’re planning on casting an informed vote in November, you’ve got some homework to do.

Official state voter guides have started landing in mailboxes, though given the weight of a tome that spans 17 different ballot initiatives “voter guide” seems like a bit of an understatement. “Initiative encyclopedia” may be a more accurate description.

The volume weighs in at 224 pages and 10.3 ounces, much of it devoted to explaining a dizzying array of policy proposals that include legalizing pot, ending the death penalty, expediting the death penalty, banning plastic bags, redirecting revenue from bag purchases, raising taxes on tobacco and top earners, and preserving a hospital fee structure of head-splitting complexity.

“It is the longest, we believe, in history,” said Sam Mahood, a spokesman for the California secretary of state’s office.

Given that most voters tend to be “low-information” and distracted from election preparation even in years with leaner ballots, the barrier to comprehension is “definitely heightened in a year like this,” said Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis.

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