U.S. News


'Six Californias' Proposal May Make 2016 Ballot

A proposal to divide the state of California into six smaller states has received enough signatures to be put on general election ballot for 2016.
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 15, 2014

The 55 States of America just doesn't have the same ring to it. But that's exactly what one venture capitalist in California is hoping for. 

Tim Draper — whose company has invested in successful companies such as Tesla Motors and Skype — proposed back in December that the state of California be broken up into six states, saying the state's population would be better served with multiple smaller governments. (Via JDLasica / CC BY NC 2.0)

CNN Money notes at the time, Draper said he was working hard to get his idea put on voter ballots for November 2014. 

The state of California requires "eight percent of the total votes cast for the Governor in the most recent gubernatorial election" to get a constitutional amendment placed on any ballot. But the deadline to get the proposal on the 2014 ballot was already passed, so the whole story fizzled out in the media. (Via State of California)

But now Draper is back, saying his campaign has gotten the necessary 808,000 signatures to place it on the general election ballot for November 2016, tweeting out the signatures will be submitted Tuesday. (Via Twitter / @SixCalifornias

So now that it looks like the citizens of California will be voting on whether or not to break up their gigantic state in two years. Let's see how exactly it would all break down. 

According to Draper's proposal, the state of "Jefferson" would be made up of the topmost part of California; San Diego and eastern Los Angeles would get put into "South California"; while the rest of Los Angeles would be found in the state of "West California"; the state of "North California" would be centered around Sacramento; and most of the region's farming would be found in "Central California." Finally, Silicon Valley would get to keep its name as the sixth and final state. 

USA Today notes each new "state" would also end up writing its own constitution and be served by its own elected officials. 

Not surprisingly, Draper, who gave about $2 million of his own money to fund the campaign, seemed pretty excited when he spoke with the Orange County Interdenominational Alliance in June about his idea. 

"Those six allow us a new start. ... They look at the state as — each individual one of these states — as something that could be the best it could be." (Via YouTube / SixCalifornias)

But there's a lot of people who aren't loving the idea of breaking up the Golden State. 

RT says a Field Poll taken in February found 59 percent of the state's population were against Draper's proposal. 

And a political strategist for the Democratic Party tweeted, "Here it comes: @timdraper #6Californias colossal waste of time, energy $ money that will hurt the CA brand and investment." (Via Twitter / @stevenmaviglio)

It's important to note this certainly isn't the first time there's been a proposal to break up California. In fact, KTXL reports about 220 efforts have been made, but all have failed. 

And people living in Colorado faced a similar situation in 2013, when they were asked to vote whether or not to break part of the state off and form a 51st state called Northern Colorado. But that proposal didn't pass, either. (Via The Washington Times)

The county registrars for California now have eight workdays to determine if Draper has the necessary number of signatures to get his proposal put on the ballot. Of course, if the people of California did decide to vote in favor of it in 2016, the proposal would still require passage by Congress to be made into law.