Measure to split California into 3 states heads to ballot

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As Los Angeles ABC News affiliate KABC-7 reported Tuesday evening, the campaign, led by Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, turned in 600,000 signatures, almost twice the 365,000 that were required.

The question was never put on the ballot because it failed to gain enough signatures.

Adding the initiative to the ballot would be the first step in a long process that would ultimately require approval from Congress.

In California, the reasons for such an ongoing inner conflict stem most obviously from the state's geographic and demographic diversity and the unique identities of different regions.

Under the proposal, the central state of California would consist of the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito.

Southern California would be made up of Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare counties.

"Northern California" would stretch from the Bay Area to Oregon. Five other counties to the north and along the coast would be included.

Nevertheless, Draper has argued it's necessary to fix the state government. And while California now has two USA senators, the new bloc of three Californias would have six under the new proposal. Each of the three new states would have to adopt a new constitution by convention or popular vote.

It appears that Draper's plan has gone further than many sceptics had imagined.

A new state, 'New California, ' would encompass the rural areas.

Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political consultant told the paper it was a bad idea.

"These three states", Draper told the Mercury News last month, "create hope and opportunity for Californians". If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, the process would begin for the first division of an existing US state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.

An April poll from Survey USA found that voters were not in favor of splitting the state by a margin of 4 to 1. It also would leapfrog statehood dreams in Puerto Rico and other USA territories. In the unlikely event the measure is approved, the change would be the first division of an existing US state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.