Proposal to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot

Geraldine Edwards
June 14, 2018

Californians will vote in November to decide if they want to split into three states.

On June 28, the Secretary of State will certify the initiative as qualified for the November ballot, unless the proponent withdraws the initiative prior to that date.

It has now received more than 402,468 valid signatures, passing the threshold required by state law, CNN reported.

The initiative was spearheaded by a venture capitalist who says regional communities would function better. If passed, the state constitution mandates both houses of the California legislature approve the proposal before it's submitted to Congress, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Southern California, meanwhile, would include Orange and San Diego Counties as well what's now known as California's Central Valley and Inland Empire. Congress admitted four US states that were split from an existing state: Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, and lastly West Virginia in 1863 during the Civil War.

Under the proposal, each state would have about one-third of the state population.

It was that issue - economic sustainability - that helped fell two of Draper's previous efforts in 2012 and 2014, to create six California states. "Californians deserve a better future".

It cleared its first hurdle in October when Draper was given the go-ahead to find signatures so the initiative could make it to the ballot, according to the Deseret News.

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But Draper believes politicians in Washington or Sacramento would be taking an even bigger risk by ignoring the will of voters fed up with a state government he says has long stopped working for them.

"Therefore, pursuant to Elections Code section 9033, the initiative measure is eligible for the November 6, 2018, General Election ballot and all further signature verification can be terminated", the office announced.

Per the Los Angeles Times, more than 200 attempts have been made since 1849 to divide California into multiple states.

In 1941, a group of secessionists along the border of Northern California and Southern Oregon proposed creating a new state called "Jefferson". For a variety of reasons, that seemed to be way too many new states for most people. Republicans won't like the addition of four USA senators - at least two of whom would likely be Democrats - which would dilute the built-in advantage their small-state strength now gives them in the upper chamber.

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"Assuming this measure is approved by voters and the federal government and allowed by the courts", the state writes, "all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end". College students who live in cities like Fresno may balk at being charged out-of-state tuition at University of California, Los Angeles.

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