California to vote on splitting into 3 states

Californians will vote in November on whether or not to split into three separate states, with L.A. in one and San Francisco in another.

Initiative received more than 400,000 valid signatures, enough to get it on the ballot

An initiative to split California into three states has qualified to be on the Nov. 6 election ballot. (Reed Saxon/Associated Press)

Californians will vote in November on whether or not to split the state into three separate states.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla filed a memo Tuesday saying that initiative #1814 had received more than 402,468 valid signatures — more than the 365,880 needed to qualify to get on the ballot — across the state's 58 counties.

The latest proposal for splitting up the Golden State is backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Timothy Draper.

Cal 3, as this campaign is called, would create the states of Northern California, Southern California and a narrow central coast strip retaining the name California, as described on the website.

This is how California would be split into three states if the Cal 3 initiative becomes reality. (CBC News)

Padilla said he would certify the initiative on June 28 unless it is withdrawn by Draper. That means it will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

If a majority of voters support the initiative, an actual split would still require the approval of the state legislature and the U.S. Congress.

Partitioning California into three states would increase the size of the U.S. Senate from 100 to 104 members, and the state's 55 electoral points would be divided among the three, according to Ballotpedia.

It's not the first attempt to split up California. In 1859, the state legislature consented to the separation of areas south of the Tehachapi Mountains (including Los Angeles and San Diego) into a territory or state, but Congress never acted on it.

Draper originally floated the idea of dividing California into six states. That initiative didn't get the required number of signatures to appear on the 2016 ballot.

Should this latest proposal become a reality, it would be the first division of a state since West Virginia split off from Virginia in 1863.

With files from The Associated Press