California voters may get to decide if they want to split their state into six parts.
The vote, if it occurs, won’t be on the ballot until November 2016. For those of you who aren’t counting ahead, that would be the next presidential election.
Supporters needed 808,000 signatures to put the question on the state ballot. They ended up with 1.3 million. I would guess that there will be numerous court challenges, including, perhaps federal court challenges, before this thing reaches a vote.
I would also imagine that the United States Congress may have a thought or two on the issue. So far as I know, there is no provision for states to draw their own boundary lines, not even if those boundaries are within their existing state lines.
The petition drive was backed by Timothy Draper, who the Post-Periodical calls a “Silicon Valley venture capitalist.” Mr Draper says that a large number of Californians do not feel represented by the current government.
That sounds reasonable to me. California is a huge state with several climates and what appears from the outside to be several cultural regions, as well. The way the state is represented in Congress it would appear that the people of California are all affluent urban liberals. Unless that’s true, there is a disconnect between governance and at least some of the people.
This whole thing could die in court quickly, or it might linger on through an election and into all sorts of federal questions. If that happens, and if California succeeds in dividing itself, I can see other states taking a shot at the same thing.
Here, from the Post Periodical, is a map of the proposed states into which California would be broken, along with their proposed names.
Photo source: Post Periodical