Voters will decide if California should be split into three states

Proposal to split California into three states earns spot on ballot

Draper's original plan had been to split California into six smaller states, but that campaign failed to collect enough signatures and died in 2014.

The proposal would split America's largest state into three: California would be reduced to a coastal strip running south from Monterey to just past Los Angeles.

Northern California: This would include 40 counties including the San Francisco Bay Area and the remaining counties north of Sacramento, the current state capital.

Southern California, which you might expect would include Los Angeles, instead covers counties ranging from Fresno to San Diego.

According to a letter from the state's Legislative Analyst's Office, the new states will face income disparities, in addition to "virtually certain" court challenges that could take years to resolve.

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If the measure is approved by voters, the governor will transfer the notice of state approval to Congress, which will vote to ratify the creation of the new three-state structure. Californians voted for it to appear on the ballot in November's general election.

If the unlikely plan is successful, it would be the first time an existing USA state split since West Virginia was created in 1863. With its 55 electors in the Electoral College, California has always been a stronghold for the Democratic Party.

A nascent opposition campaign already is sounding the more practical alarms about splitting California into three states.

Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, legislators put forth various proposals to split California in half or in thirds but none ever quite gained enough momentum. Joe Rodota, a political consultant and founder of intelligence services company Forward Observer, described the ballot to CBS as "a waste of time", and one that makes some issues unnecessarily complicated.

"Three states will get us better infrastructure, better education and lower taxes", said Tim Draper, a technology mogul behind the measure.

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