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Ballot Initiative To Create 12,000 Legislative Districts Fails

Charlie Neibergall / AP

Businessman John Cox in 2007.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

An initiative to fundamentally change how Californians elect their lawmakers will not appear before voters in 2018, after the measure did not garner enough qualified signatures, despite millions of dollars from a candidate for governor.

The “Neighborhood Legislature” initiative would have divided California into 12,000 tiny Senate and Assembly districts. 120 of the elected lawmakers would travel to Sacramento to craft draft legislation, which the entire body would generally have to approve.

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox put $2.5 million of his own money behind the measure, of which he is the proponent, while he also runs in the crowded field to succeed Governor Jerry Brown.

The California Secretary of State’s office reports the measure fell 25,000 signatures short of the almost 600,000 it needed to qualify. That’s after about a third of signatures the campaign submitted were declared invalid.

In a statement, Cox says he’ll demand the disallowed signatures be re-examined.

Ben Bradford

State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covers California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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