The idea of a billionaire to divide California into three separate states, called “Cal-3”, will be among the questions proposed to Californians on their ballot in the mid-term elections on November 6th. A “yes”, however, would only be the beginning of a long process, the US Congress having to approve such a change.
Cal-3 is an initiative of investor Tim Draper, who has already campaigned unsuccessfully to divide California into six regions.
This time, Draper collected more than 402,468 signatures in the state counties to put the proposal to a referendum.
The new California state would be centered around Los Angeles, up to Monterey County. Northern California would include the San Francisco and Sacramento area, while Southern California would extend from San Diego to Fresno.
This is the first time in 150 years that this choice appears on the state ballot. If the proposal is approved, it could lead to the first split since West Virginia separated from Virginia in 1863.
Tim Draper believes the three-state division would provide better infrastructure and lower taxes.
The necessary authorization of the Congress
A favorable vote in November would trigger a long process of division of California.
The US Constitution allows the formation of new states. According to Article IV, however, a new State can not enter the Union “without the consent of the legislatures of the States concerned and of the Congress”.
California has 55 votes in the constituency, and these have historically gone to Democratic candidates.
This could change if Cal-3 is approved. With two new states, the split would also add four senators to the US Congress.
California was founded in 1850. Since then, initiatives to divide the state periodically return.
Diane Elliot is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years experience. While studying journalism at University of Southern California, Diane found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Coastal Morning Star, Diane mostly covers human interest pieces.