LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An initiative to split California into three states has received enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, its author said Wednesday.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper said backers of what he has dubbed "CAL 3" would submit petitions with more than 600,000 signatures to election officials next week. The initiative needs signatures from 365,880 registered voters -- 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 election -- to qualify for the ballot.
"This is an unprecedented show of support on behalf of every corner of California to create three state governments that emphasize representation, responsiveness, reliability and regional identity," Draper said.
Splitting California into three states would require congressional approval.
One proposed state would be called California or a name to be chosen by its residents after a split. It would consist of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties.
A second state, Southern California or a name to be chosen by its residents, would consist of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera and Mono counties.
The remaining 40 counties would be part of the state of Northern California or a name chosen by its residents.
Draper said he conceived the initiative out of a belief that "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."
Steven Maviglio, a longtime Democratic Party political consultant who was a co-chair of the effort to oppose Draper's 2014 initiative to split California into six states, told City News Service, "Splitting California into three and creating three new governments does nothing to solve our state's challenges other than tripling them."
"CAL 3" has no connection to efforts to have California secede from the United States.
For more information, visit threestateca.com.