Three Californias? Measure to split state heads to November ballot

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California voters in November will decide whether they want their Golden State split into three.

Election officials say this year's effort gathered the roughly 365,000 signatures it needed to land on the general election ballot.

A publicized effort by activists to have California secede from the United States, branded the "Calexit" proposal, continues to be bandied about for the ballot in 2020.

Draper's plan would loop the Central Coast in with Los Angeles in one state simply called "California".

Northern California would include 40 counties from Santa Cruz to the OR border, including the Bay Area, the Sacramento region and parts of the San Joaquin Valley.

The southern state would comprise Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, and Mono.

Adding the initiative to the ballot would be the first step in a long process that would ultimately require approval from Congress.

The plan to divide California
The plan to divide California

"These three states", Draper told the Mercury News last month, "create hope and opportunity for Californians".

The initiative was spearheaded by a venture capitalist who says regional communities would function better.

"If some people feel that their government isn't working for them - and I know a lot of people in very poor regions feel that the status quo is not working for them - this would be an opportunity for them to easily move to another state without leaving the attractive weather we get here", he said. The state report notes that California's water system is "one of the most complex in the world" because water "does not naturally appear in California where demand is highest".

An exterior of the state capitol is shown on January 5, 2006 in Sacramento, California.

Draper argues that California has become "nearly ungovernable" because of its diverse economies and population. California voters already approved breaking up the state in 1859, but Congress did not act on it.

Padilla said he would certify the initiative on June 28 unless it is withdrawn by Draper.

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. Going into the 2016 elections, he was trying (unsuccessfully) to get a ballot initiative certified that would have aimed at creating six Californias.

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