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Voters will decide if California should be split into three states

Voters will decide if California should be split into three states

Californians will vote in November on whether to split the state into three separate parts.

Election officials say this year's effort gathered the roughly 365,000 signatures it needed to land on the general election ballot.

California's Secretary of State has officially confirmed that a proposal has become eligible to be on the state's ballot this November.

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.

Analysts from the University of Virginia's Center for Politics predict that the new California and Northern California would be Democratic-leaning, while Southern California would be a swing state.

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

Where California now has two seats in the 100-person U.S. Senate, the three states would have six seats in a 104-member chamber.

It's the brainchild of Silicon Valley tech billionaire Tim Draper, who previously proposed splitting California into six states, most recently in 2014.

The new Northern California would include 40 counties, including Sacramento, San Jose and San Francisco as well as the state's wine country and rural northern areas.

Present day California is the world's fifth biggest economy with a GSP (gross state product) of $2.75 trillion, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, making it bigger than the United Kingdom economy. The rest, including San Diego and the inland desert communities, would become Southern California.

Certification that the initiative has qualified for the ballot will come on June 28.

"This November, all Californians have the opportunity to send the message they are ready for solutions to our most pressing state issues in failing education, crumbling infrastructure, sky-high taxes and stagnation in state government".

If the plan was approved by the voters, it would need to be approved by both houses of the California legislature, an unlikely prospect.

The only solution, he maintains, is smaller governments better equipped to respond to residents' specific needs depending on the region of California where they live. Even if it wins passage from voters, the measure would face significant hurdles. Those changes address numerous concerns that were raised about the fate of less prosperous states in the six-state model.

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