Initiative to split California into three states projected to make ballot

Initiative to split California into three states projected to make ballot

California's 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent's edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year - as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the November 6 ballot.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will certify the initiative as qualified for the November 6th ballot on June 28.

The new Northern California would include 40 counties, including Sacramento, San Jose and San Francisco as well as the state's wine country and rural northern areas.

His "Cal 3" campaign got more than 400,000 valid signatures, more than the amount required by state law, CNN reported.

Now, the legendary Silicon Valley investor is making headway on a longtime and perhaps unrealistic effort to split California into three separate states: Northern California, California (new), and Southern California.

The state got closest to dividing itself in 1859, when the state legislature and voters overwhelmingly approved a new "Territory of Colorado" to split southern California from the north. The state's elaborate system of aqueducts would become a managerial-and political-challenge for three states instead of just one.

According to Draper, the most populous USA state and the world's fifth-largest economy is "nearly ungovernable" under the current system.

"We are not a one-size-fits-all state", Cal-3 spokeswoman Peggy Grande told The Washington Post. As he did when he pushed a failed initiative to break the state into six states, Draper says California as it now exists is simply too large to be governed effectively.

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Even if voters embrace the radical plan, it wouldn't take effect without congressional approval.

The only solution, he maintains, is smaller governments better equipped to respond to residents' specific needs depending on the region of California where they live. The three smaller states would disrupt that block, separating the deep red area such as Orange County from the rest of the Democratic strongholds in the state.

The plan would create three differently sized regions, but all would have roughly the same population.

Draper previously pushed an initiative aiming to split California into six states. A recent survey found that only 17 percent of registered voters in the state favor the plan while 72 percent oppose it. A proposal to divide the state into three will be on the ballot in California in November.

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

And on the other side of the political spectrum, California's 55 votes in the Electoral College are prized by Democrats as an nearly guaranteed block for their presidential candidate.

College students from Northern California who go to school in Los Angeles (and vice versa) would also be affected.

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