CALIFORNIA—The Cal-3 proposition will appear on ballot in November 2018. This proposition will allow California to be divided into three states. These three states would be known as Southern California, Northern California, and New California. Cal-3 received over 400,000 signatures to become eligible to be placed on the ballot.

The last time a state was split was in 1843 when the state of Virginia was divided to create West Virginia.

Northern California would contain a total of 40 counties and would stretch from Santa Cruz to the border of Oregon. It would include the Bay Area, Sacramento, and parts of San Joaquin Valley. Southern California would contain the following 12 counties: San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern, and Imperial. New California would contain the following six counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and San Benito.

New California would be smaller geographically than Northern and Southern California; the populations of the three states would be fairly equal to about 13 million individuals each.

The Cal-3 proposition is the brainchild of Tim Draper. Draper is a billionaire who has made his living in Silicon Valley via investing in Hotmail, Skype, and cryptocurrency. In 2014, he proposed that California be divided into six states, but that proposition was rejected.

Draper believes that dividing the state will make operating the state of California easier in terms of finances, education, and infrastructure. 

“Californians deserve a more effective education system that isn’t failing our families, more reliable infrastructure that isn’t fracturing our communities, and more sensible taxes that aren’t stifling our opportunities,” states the Cal-3 website.

The proposition would allocate six senators to the state of California, an upgrade over the current two. Draper believes this will help California have more power in the electoral college.

One of the critiques of the proposition is that it will decrease the amount of power Democrats have in the state of California. Dividing the state would impact the political demographics. It would be expensive to make all the changes that Draper and his Cal-3 team desire. Voters and Congress must approve Cal-3 in order for it to take effect.