Cal 3: 'Three Californias' Referendum to Appear on November 2018 Ballot

Cal 3: 'Three Californias' Referendum to Appear on November 2018 Ballot

Voters will now have to decide whether they approve of the measure to divide California into California, Northern California, and Southern California.

Venture Capitalist Tim Draper is behind the initiative. It will be officially certified later this month.

State officials say eligible ballot measures will become qualified on the 131st day prior to the next statewide general election.

In 2013, he launched Six Californias, a plan that would divide up the Golden State into six states. The measure aims to create states with relatively equal populations and economic strengths.

- "Northern California" would include 40 counties from Santa Cruz to the OR border, including San Francisco and Sacramento, the current state capital.

-California would have approximately 12.3 million residents and would be centered around Los Angeles County. Southern California would consist of 12 counties, including San Diego and Orange counties, the Inland Empire and much of the Central Valley. The Golden State's population would be divided nearly equally among the three new states.

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Present day California is the world's fifth biggest economy with a GSP (gross state product) of $2.75 trillion, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, making it bigger than the United Kingdom economy.

California gets 55 electors in the Electoral College - a powerful number that has been a huge unmovable bloc for the Democratic candidate. It also would leapfrog statehood dreams in Puerto Rico and other US territories. The state of Northern California would contain 40 counties, including those in the Sacramento and Bay areas. The boundaries would be determined by current county lines.

Last summer, Draper formally submitted the three-states proposal.

"This milestone is a testament to the energized spirit of Californians wanting to create a better future for themselves and their communities", said Citizens for Cal 3 spokeswoman Peggy Grande. "Some of the legal and practical issues of splitting up California suggest there is a high likelihood that the process would take many years to complete".

Passing at the ballot box is just the first hurdle. If Congress gave a green light, it would then be up the Legislature to determine exactly how the split would happen, including how the state's debts would be divided.

The state's prison system would require a similar restructuring. The ballot initiative instructs the governor to seek approval by Congress under Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution to get permission to create these new states.

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