California Supreme Court blocks ballot measure to divide state into three

California Supreme Court blocks ballot measure to divide state into three
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The California Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked a proposal to split the state into three from appearing as a ballot measure in November, according to multiple reports.

The proposal, championed by venture capitalist Tim Draper, had gathered at least 600,000 signatures which was enough to earn a spot on the midterm ballot.

The court said that it decided to remove the measure from the ballot “because significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election,” the court wrote. 

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If passed, the proposal, known as “Cal-3,” would have divided the state into California, Northern California and Southern California, each with similar populations.

Past attempts to split California into multiple states have failed, including in 1859, when voters supported the move but Congress did not move forward with it.

If this proposal had been approved by voters in November, it would still need to be approved by the California State Legislature and by Congress. 

Draper led a push to split the state into six in 2012 and 2014, but election officials invalidated many of the signatures collected by his campaign.

He argues that having smaller states would give voters more power.

The proposal was already facing one legal challenge from environmental nonprofit group the Planning and Conservation League, who argued that Cal-3 was too serious of a proposal to be approved by ballot measure, and raised concerns that it could result in weaker environmental protections in the state.

The court said Wednesday that it would consider the Planning and Conservation League’s challenge, according to the LA Times.

—Updated at 4:39 p.m.