This November Californians are set to vote on splitting one of the nation’s largest states into three separate states.
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper successfully gathered 402,000 signatures and now the measure will be present on this year’s ballot, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“This is a chance for three fresh approaches to government,” Draper said in an April interview, just before he filed the signatures with the state. “Three new states could become models not only for the rest of the country, but for the whole world.”
The measure is called the Cal 3 initiative and would divide the state into three parts: one called Northern California, which would span from Oregon down to San Francisco, another called California, that would primarily include Los Angeles and land on the coast and the last one would be Southern California, that would be made up of San Diego, Fresno, and Bakersfield.
California is the third largest state land area, after Alaska and Texas and has one of the largest populations in the country with more than 39 million residents.
Back in 2014, Draper spent $5.2 million in hopes of dividing the state into six. He later admitted that plan was too drastic.
“Three states will get us better infrastructure, better education and lower taxes,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “States will be more accountable to us and can cooperate and compete for citizens.”
One critic called the initiative a massive distraction.
“California government can do a better job addressing the real issues facing the state, but this measure is a massive distraction that will cause political chaos and greater inequality,” said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for the OneCalifornia committee opposing Cal 3.
If the initiative does get passed, both houses of the California legislature would have to approve it before it’s submitted to Congress. The last time a state divided itself was in 1863 when West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War.
Take a look at the initiative below.