Under the proposed plan, San Francisco would be part of the state of Silicon Valley.
Voters will decide if six Californias would be better than one.
A ballot initiative sponsored by billionaire venture capitalist Timothy Draper that proposes carving California into six states has gathered 1.3 million signatures, more than the 808,000 required, to appear before voters, according Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the campaign, in an e-mail.
Draper, whose firm invested in Twitter and Skype, and other supporters of the the Six States campaign submitted the signatures today to the California Secretary of State's office this afternoon, with the goal of qualifying for the November 2016 ballot. The timing would place the measure alongside contests for U.S. presidential and congressional campaigns that draw large numbers of voters.
Splitting up California would help its 38 million residents gain better access to education, help solve water issues, improve traffic congestion, provide a more business-friendly regulatory environment and make government more accountable, according to the sponsors.
Success is a long-shot. The initiative will need approval by two-thirds of California's voters and be passed by its congress.
"This is a colossal and divisive waste of time, energy, and money that will hurt the California brand,” Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political strategist who has formed the group OneCalifornia to fight Draper’s plan, told Reuters. "It has zero chance of passage. But what it does is scare investment away ... at a time when the Governor is leading us to an economic comeback.”
The plan proposes carving the world's eighth-biggest economy into Jefferson, which includes Humboldt County; Northern California, with Napa and Sonoma vineyards; Silicon Valley, stretching from San Francisco to Monterey; Central California, an agricultural heartland; Western California, dominated by Los Angeles; and Southern California, including Los Angeles suburbs, Disneyland and San Diego.
Tags: CALIFORNIA, ELECTION, LOS ANGELES, POLITICS, PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, SAN FRANCISCO-SAN JOSE, SILICON VALLEY, U.S., US & World