A long-odds effort to split California into three states has qualified for the November ballot, state officials said Tuesday.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that the initiative, dubbed "Cal 3," is eligible for the Nov. 6 general election.
The initiative is spearheaded by billionaire venture capitalist and bitcoin enthusiast Tim Draper.
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Supporters say citizens would be better served by three smaller state governments, while opponents say the plan would create chaos. Either way, splitting California into three states would require congressional approval.
In the initiative’s statement of findings, Draper said California’s diverse population and economies have made the state ungovernable and splitting the state into three parts would make it more manageable.
"The citizens of the whole state would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns,” the initiative said.
A bid to split California into six states, also authored by Draper but unrelated to the "CAL 3" initiative, failed to gather enough signatures to get on the November 2016 ballot.
"CAL 3" has no connection to "Calexit," an effort to have California secede from the United States.
The split would look like this: Northern California would include the Bay Area all the way to the Oregon border, Southern California would begin in Fresno and cover most of the southern state.
A new California would also begin in Los Angeles County and cover coastal areas.
Here's what the split would look like by counties:
CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaqui, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba.
The initiative needed at least 402,468 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that threshold, officials said.
On June 28, the Secretary of State will certify the initiative as qualified for the November ballot, unless the proponent withdraws the initiative prior to that date.