Should California Really Be 3 States? Voters Will Decide In November

An initiative to split California into three states has qualified for the November ballot

View Slideshow An initiative to split California into three states has qualified for the November ballot. Mark Ralston AFP Getty Images

According to the state's constitution, the ballot initiative needs 365,880 signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot.

A proposal to divide California into three states is now eligible for the November statewide ballot.

California, covering the Central Coast from Monterey to Los Angeles.

Northern California - This would include 40 counties including the San Francisco Bay Area and the remaining counties north of Sacramento.

Southern California - This would include 12 counties: San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern and Imperial counties. Even if the measure does pass, it will require congressional approval to break up the existing state of California.

-California would have approximately 12.3 million residents and would be centered around Los Angeles County.

The California State flag flies beside a sign for Los Angeles' sister city Split outside City Hall in LA in 2017. A proposal to divide the state into three will be on the ballot in California in November
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Partitioning California into three states would increase the size of the U.S. Senate from 100 to 104 members, and the state's 55 electoral points would be divided among the three, according to Ballotpedia.

The latest proposal for splitting up the Golden State is backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Timothy Draper. The number of representatives in the U.S. House could change slightly based on each state's population breakdown. Opponents are anxious how the state's vast resources would be divided were the state to break apart and say the proposal would harm poor regions while demarcating rich areas that generate most of California's current tax revenue. "Californians deserve a better future". In the unlikely event the measure is approved, the change would be the first division of an existing US state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.

Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, lawmakers put forth various proposals to split California in half or in thirds but none ever quite gained enough momentum.

An exterior of the state capitol is shown on January 5, 2006 in Sacramento, California. Draper's campaign web site argues the three states would have reasonably similar household incomes and enough industries to produce their own viable economies. His first proposal, in 2014 suggested the state breaking into six, not three, but this was rejected.

Among other obstacles, a recent SurveyUSA poll found that only 17 percent of California voters support the "CAL3" plan.

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