"Three Californias" initiative qualifies for November ballot

Erika Holt
June 14, 2018

The proposal to divide California into three states was approved to go on the November ballot Tuesday after it got enough signatures.

The office did not say exactly how many total signatures were submitted, but backers said the petition drew more than 600,000 from residents across the state's 58 counties, dwarfing the 365,000 signatures required to qualify for the ballot.

One of the many, many efforts to break up the state of California into smaller, more governable chunks has made it onto the November ballot. And Southern California would cover the central and southern part of the state, excluding those coastal counties.

Northern California would include 40 counties from Santa Cruz to the OR border, including the Bay Area, the Sacramento region and parts of the San Joaquin Valley.

Even if Californians voted for the initiative, it would still require congressional approval.

The plan to divide California
The plan to divide California

Investor Tim Draper is backing the effort, and past year he told the Times that carving California into three states had its merits.

It's the brainchild of Silicon Valley tech billionaire Tim Draper, who previously proposed splitting California into six states, most recently in 2014. The measure calls for three smaller state governments: Northern California, encompassing San Francisco and 39 other counties; California, covering Los Angeles and five other counties; and Southern California, accounting for areas including Fresno and San Diego. For a variety of reasons, that seemed to be way too many new states for most people.

A referendum proposal to split the Golden State into three will be on the November ballot. Though California's prisoners come from all over the state, more than half are now held in what would become Southern California. "Californians deserve a better future".

An exterior of the state capitol is shown on January 5, 2006 in Sacramento, California.

"This measure would cost taxpayers billions of dollars to pay for the massive transactional costs of breaking up the state, whether it be universities, parks, or retirement systems", Maviglio told the Times. Draper's proposal says the initiative, acting under California's constitutional power of voters to write their own laws, would serve as legislative consent. According to the Mercury News, an April poll found that just 17 percent of California voters supported the proposal.

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