Voters May Get Say in Dividing California into 3 States

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The initiative needed signatures from 365,880 registered voters - 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 election - to qualify for the ballot.

Under U.S. federal law, splitting California would require congressional approval even if the proposal is placed on state ballot.

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.

CNN reached out to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, but he refused to comment until he receives the signatures.

The Bay Area would be part of a new Northern California state with a border that starts north of Monterey, runs east and north to the Nevada state line, and includes everything north to the OR border.

Despite the vast number of signatures Draper says he's collected, a ballot initiative to split up California into three has its set of challenges.

Under Draper's plan, Northern California would include 40 counties with a population of 13.3 million people who would earn a median income of 63,000 USA dollars.

California had a 38.54-million population by the end of 2017, the largest in the United States. Most recently, there was talk of splitting the state into two pieces.

Supporters say the state has grown too huge to satisfy the needs of Californians.

"There's very little support for tripling California's representation in the U.S. Senate", said Jack Pitney, who teaches politics at Claremont McKenna College.

Do you think California should be broken up into 3 separate states?

But Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow and political expert, said the proposed new map might not seem like the answer to those most frustrated with the state's politics. The three-way split goes like this: Northern California would include the Bay Area all the way to the OR border.

"They're just going to be stepped on again", Whalen said. The highly unlikely effort would cut the state up like this, according to the CAL 3 website. "It's kind of a shame with so many important issues facing the state that this wacky idea might appear on the ballot".

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