The figurative divide between northern and southern Californians may grow into a literal one, after an initiative to divide the state into not two, but three separate entities received nearly double the signatures required to get onto this year’s November ballot, according to the plan’s author.
Billionaire Timothy Draper, who originally floated a plan to divide the partition California into six separate states in 2014, has revised that plan with one that would see the state divide into three: Northern California, Southern California, and a new California.
Draper announced Thursday that the Cal 3 petition received “an unprecedented show of support” with more than 600,000 signatures from across the state. By California law, 365,880 signatures were required to qualify the initiative for a vote.
The Cal 3 website details the demographics of the proposed states:
Northern California would include 40 counties ranging from the bay area to the Oregon border. It would hold a population of 13.3 million people with a median income of $63,000.
Southern California would include 12 counties, including Kern. It would range from Fresno to the Mexico border, maintaining a coastal presence of San Diego county. The median income of that area is listed as $45,000.
The smallest of the three states, simply referred to as California, would be composed of what is currently known as the central coast and Los Angeles, with a median income of $53,000.
Even if the placed on November’s ballot, splitting California into three states would require congressional approval.