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Billionaire Claims to Have Enough Support to Push for Vote to Divide California into Three States

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Tech billionaire Tim Draper, a venture capitalist who secured his fortune by being an early investor in Hotmail and Skype, has been collecting signatures to get a proposed initiative on the ballot in November. The proposal will let voters decide if the state should remain together or be broken into three separate states.

California requires signatures from a minimum of 365,800 registered voters, representing five percent of the votes cast during the last gubernatorial election in 2014, for an initiative to be added to the ballot.

Draper, according to a report by the Daily Mail, has more than 600,000 signatures, allowing his plan to move forward.

In October, 59-year-old Draper launched the CAL 3 initiative, which proposes dividing California into three states – Northern California, California, and Southern California.

The new state of California would comprise of Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.

Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego would become Southern California. The remaining 40 counties would make up Northern California.

“This is an unprecedented show of support on behalf of every corner of California to create three state governments that emphasize representation, responsiveness, reliability, and regional identity,” said Draper.

He believes that dividing the state into three smaller ones “the citizens of the whole state would be better served.”

This isn’t the first attempt to divide California into smaller states. In 2013, Draper launched Six Californias, which would have carved the Golden State into six states. However, it did not secure enough signatures to land on the ballot.

Earlier this year, a proposal to split California into two states, put forth by Robert Preston and Tom Reed, also entered the picture. It lists the new possible states as California, largely consisting of coastal counties, and New California.

It’s too early to say whether CAL 3 stands a chance once the decision is placed in the hands of voters, as the idea might not gain enough traction to pass.

Even if California voters support the initiative in November, Congress would still have to approve it before it could become official.