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Californians to Vote on Splitting Up State


File - In this Jan. 12, 2016 file photo, the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains stand as a backdrop to the downtown Los Angeles skyline. An initiative that seeks to split California into three states is projected to qualify for the state's November 2018 ballot.

California is the most populous state in the United States — and if a majority of the state votes this November, it could become three separate states.

State election officials announced Tuesday that a proposal to divide the state into three separate states had received enough signatures from voters to appear on the ballot in November's midterm election.

If the proposal passes, the state would break off into three separate states: Northern California, anchored by San Francisco; California, centered around Los Angeles; and Southern California, including San Diego.

The initiative was sponsored by California-based venture capitalist Tim Draper, who had previously sponsored ballot initiatives to partition his home state. In 2012 and 2014, Draper tried — and failed — to get a question splitting up California into six states on the ballot.

"Three states will get us better infrastructure, better education and lower taxes," Draper told the Los Angeles Times last summer, after submitting his proposal. "States will be more accountable to us and can cooperate and compete for citizens."

This is not the first attempt to break California apart. According to the Los Angeles Times, there have been over 200 attempts from residents to break up California, or to get it to secede from the union; all of which failed

Following the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, a movement known as "CalExit" attempted to force a similar vote on getting the state to secede from the union, but their proposal did not make it to the ballot.

Should the proposal succeed, it would be the first division of a state since West Virginia split off from Virginia in 1863. Though it isn't likely to get voter approval, it would still have to clear numerous hurdles, including getting approval from U.S. Congress.

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