California Will Vote Whether to Split Into 3 States This Fall

Proposal to split California into three states earns spot on ballot

The new initiative will be certified by the California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, on June 28 and will appear on the ballot in November.

His campaign, called "Cal 3", received more than 400,000 signatures, which is higher than the state-required minimum needed to bring a proposal to the ballot.

In 2012 and 2014, Draper also proposed splitting the state into six separate states, yet his efforts failed after numerous signatures his campaign collected were invalidated by election officials. Three separate Californias would also shake up the Electoral College, which picks the president. If the Legislature failed to act in the given time frame, California's debts would be divided among the new states based on population. Each of the three new states would have to adopt a new constitution by convention or popular vote.

The plan for partitioning California would be parallel to other states that have been partitioned, including the Dakotas, the Carolinas, and the Virginias. Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom brushed off the proposal at a California Democratic Party event on Wednesday.

Voters won't have the final say on the measure, however. California will consist of Los Angeles County and a number of counties in the Central Coast region, including Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties.

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Per the Los Angeles Times, more than 200 attempts have been made since 1849 to divide California into multiple states. Congress never took action on the proposal, according to the LAO. "Because a billionaire can write a check to get a wacky idea on the ballot, he has to subject the whole state to a campaign?"

"Assuming this measure is approved by voters and the federal government and allowed by the courts", the state writes, "all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end". A San Diego company with an office in San Francisco could find itself facing two corporate tax structures and workplace regulations that a northern state might impose differently than one in the south.

The arguments for splitting up the state range from the usual smaller-is-better claims that California is too big and unwieldy to function efficiently, to the more qualitative arguments that the state's diversity ensures that significant communities are denied adequate representation and autonomy.

Draper was an early investor in Skype, Hotmail and Tesla, and he is a major advocate of bitcoin.

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