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Three Californias? What you need to know

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Proposal to split California into three states earns spot on ballot | TheHill

When Californians head to the polls this fall, they'll get to vote on whether or not America's largest and arguably most important state should be broken into three.

Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, was the proponent of the long-shot initiative to split the state, which got almost 420,000 valid signatures, more than enough to be included in the General Election ballot in November, according to California's secretary of State. According to the secretary of state's site, the measure needed 365,880 signatures and had gathered 419,462 valid signatures by Tuesday.

The push was launched by Silicon Valley titan Tim Draper, who has tried to split California before. Were voters to approve his ballot measure, the effort would need the blessing of both houses of the California Legislature - lawmakers who, in a sense, would be asked to abandon their posts. Southern California would take in San Diego as well as San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern and Imperial counties.

A CNN analysis in April found that even if California split into three states, it would still be underrepresented in the Senate compared with most of the US. Congress admitted four USA states that were split from an existing state: Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, and lastly West Virginia in 1863 during the Civil War.

"We are not a one-size-fits-all state", Cal-3 spokeswoman Peggy Grande told The Washington Post.

The plan for partitioning California would be parallel to other states that have been partitioned, including the Dakotas, the Carolinas, and the Virginias.

The plan calls for three states to be created: Northern California, California and Southern California.

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It is not Draper's first attempt to divide California.

Californians have talked about breaking up with themselves ever since California became a state in 1850. Going into the 2016 elections, he was trying (unsuccessfully) to get a ballot initiative certified that would have aimed at creating six Californias.

"At our most recent convention, our delegates overwhelmingly accepted the recommendation of our Initiatives Committee to oppose this measure", said California GOP spokesman Matthew Fleming.

In northernmost parts of California, rebellious souls have been flirting since 1941 with the idea of their own state called "Jefferson", which would mesh with the southern counties of Oregon.

The new ballot measure would create states with roughly equal populations and, compared with the six-state proposal, more comparable income levels. 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".

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

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