California's push to split into 3 states still faces big hurdles

The vote would radically shake up not only the West Coast but the entire nation

The vote would radically shake up not only the West Coast but the entire nation

"The unanimous support for CAL 3 from all 58 of California's counties to reach this unprecedented milestone in the legislative process is the signal that across California, we are united behind CAL 3 to create a brighter future for everyone", Draper said in a statement in April after the signatures were collected.

Californians have long debated whether they were better as a whole or in parts.

If a majority of California voters that cast ballots agree to divide the state into three, the plan would need approval from both houses of the California Legislation.

Dividing California for more equal representation has always been a goal of the State of Jefferson, a group that has pushed to split 23 counties in Northern California from the more-liberal Central and South. While California's differences run deep, they may only be heightened in closer quarters. Going into the 2016 elections, he was trying (unsuccessfully) to get a ballot initiative certified that would have aimed at creating six Californias. Cal 3 qualified for the ballot with more than the required number of signatures, representing Californians from all 58 counties.

This is the third time Draper has tried to get voters to weigh in on breaking up the most populous USA state.

Virginia was the last state to split in 1863 to create Virginia and West Virginia. Fresno County Republican Party Chairman Fred Vanderhoof understands why the idea is appealing to those frustrated with state government, says he doesn't see a split happening, even if the voters approve.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper delivers signatures to push for a vote in 2014
Camera Icon Venture capitalist Tim Draper delivers signatures to push for a vote in 2014

Three separate Californias would also shake up the Electoral College, which picks the president.

But are Jefferson enthusiasts on-board with this new Cal 3 plan?

"You have Northern California's marijuana growers, you have the Bay Area and Los Angeles for the consumers - in-between, we're dead", he said. California is broken. We must split this state up if any of us has a hope of surviving the debt crisis California has got us into but if its another form of tyranny for us, then no we are not in favor of it.

The six-state proposal involved large disparities in population and wealth (one of the new states would have been the wealthiest in the country, while another would have been the nation's poorest); the three states under the revised proposal are roughly equal in populations, and while not equal economically (North California would be significantly wealthier than the other two) are not wildly disparate.

A breakup would be complex, as the state's businesses and universities - even its water system - are interconnected and dependent on one another. But the Russia-based leader of that campaign backed off.

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