RULES FOR COUNTING THE NUMBER OF WORDS

The Elections Code (§ 9) establishes the rules for counting the number of words in the proponents’ statement of reasons, the incumbent’s answer and candidate statements, and in other situations in which the Elections Code refers to counting words. See below:

Each word is counted as one word except:

PUNCTUATION: Punctuation is not counted.

TITLES: Words used in the title of the document, such as "Notice of Intent to Circulate Recall Petition" are not counted.

CITIES/COUNTIES: All geographical names shall be counted as one word. Areas that have boundaries and can be mapped are considered geographic areas. For example, "County of Santa Cruz" and "Pajaro Valley Unified School District" shall each be counted as one word.

ABBREVIATIONS: Each abbreviation for a word, phrase, or expression shall be counted as one word.

HYPHENATIONS: Hyphenated words that appear in any generally available dictionary shall be considered as one word. Each part of all other hyphenated words shall be counted as a separate word.

DATES: Dates consisting of a combination of words and digits shall be counted as two words. Dates consisting of only a combination of digits shall be counted as one word. January 1, 2000 shall be counted as two words, whereas 1/1/00 shall be counted as one word.

NUMBERS: Any number consisting of a digit or digits shall be considered as one word. Any number that is spelled out, shall be considered as a separate word. "100" shall be counted as one word, whereas "one hundred" shall be counted as two words.

PHONE & INTERNET: Web site addresses and telephone numbers shall be counted as one word.

PERCENT SIGNS (%), NUMBER SIGNS (#), ETC.: It is department policy to count numbers consisting of a digit or digits used with a dollar sign ($), cent sign (˘), percentage sign (%), or number sign (#) as one word.