State Watch

Proposal to split California into three states earns spot on ballot

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A proposal to split California into three separate states got enough votes on Tuesday to be added to the midterm ballot in November.

Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, was the proponent of the long-shot initiative to split the state, which got nearly 420,000 valid signatures, more than enough to be included in the general election ballot in November, according to California’s secretary of state.

Adding the proposal to the ballot is the first in a long number of steps that would be required to actually split the country’s third-largest and most populous state. 

Even if California voters supported the proposal in November, the California State Legislature would still have to vote in favor of it.

The breakup would also likely be challenged in court and would need congressional approval, a tough get in today’s hyperpartisan Washington. 

The initiative proposes the state to be split into three new states: California, Northern California and Southern California. Each state, though different in size, would have roughly the same population, according to the proposal.

Voters supported breaking up California into two states in 1859, but Congress never moved forward with the proposal.

Breaking up the state would add four new members to the Senate.

In 2012 and 2014, Draper also proposed splitting the state into six separate states, yet his efforts failed after many of the signatures his campaign collected were invalidated by election officials.

California’s secretary of state will officially certify the initiative to be included in the general election ballot later this month. 

Updated on June 13 at 5:30 a.m.

Tags Cal 3 California Politics of California Six Californias Tim Draper

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