Californians will vote on dividing into 3 states

According to a document released by California's Secretary of State announced Tuesday, the initiative to get the proposal on the ballot received almost 419,362 signatures, which was more than enough to get a spot on the ballot.

The proposition is supported by billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, who believes that the state has become too large to properly serve its citizens, and argues that the rest of the country should encourage the effort.

According to the ballot measure, Northern California will consist of counties in the northern part of the state, including Sacramento and San Francisco Counties. Orange County, San Diego and inland counties would be called Southern California. The government interpreted language in the U.S. Constitution to mean that both the state Legislature (in that instance in West Virginia) and Congress had to approve before a state is split into two or more states. Three separate Californias would also shake up the Electoral College, which picks the president. For several weeks that year in the town of Yreka, people armed themselves with hunting rifles, created roadblocks on U.S. Highway 99 marking their hypothetical new borders and handed out their "State of Jefferson Proclamation of Independence" to passing motorists. And one of those states, based on past election results, could be won by a Republican. He backed a proposal to turn California into six states in 2014 but it failed to get the required number of signatures to qualify and the measure was not presented to voters. California would be comprised of about 12.3 million residents, centered around Los Angeles County, and would include five other counties along the coast and to the north.

This isn't the first time that Draper attempted to get an initiative to break apart the most populous state.

- "Northern California" would include 40 counties from Santa Cruz to the OR border, including San Francisco and Sacramento, the current state capital. Now that the California Secretary of State's office has confirmed the validity of 420,000 of these signatures, Californians will vote on the proposal alongside the midterm elections this November. Even if voters decide Draper's idea is a good one, there hasn't been a breakup of a state since the Civil War. "This isn't about politics - this is about sustainable solutions to intractable issues that impact Californians every day - like our local schools, infrastructure and government responsiveness".

  • Joey Payne