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Plan To Split California Into Three States Earns Spot On November Ballot

Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

Californians will vote this fall on whether to split their state into three.

You might have heard the buzz around CalExit – efforts to have California secede from the nation. This isn’t that. Instead, this initiative would ask Congress to allow the state to divide itself into thirds.

It’s the brainchild of Silicon Valley tech billionaire Tim Draper, who previously proposed splitting California into six states, most recently in 2014.

Now the Secretary of State’s office says Draper submitted enough valid voter signatures for the Three Californias initiative to be eligible for the November ballot — that is, barring a successful legal challenge before the election.

The measure would split California into three states with roughly equal population:

  • Northern California, containing the 40 northern-most counties — including Sacramento and San Franciso — stretching from the Oregon border to Merced County. 
  • California, which would be made up of Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
  • And Southern California, moving from Mono County along the state's eastern and southern borders to San Diego, and  including Fresno and Kern counties.


Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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