California Voters May Decide to Break up the State

Supporters of an initiative to split California up into six states received official permission to begin gathering signatures to place the proposal on the ballot this November. The number of signatures required is 504,760. The proposal, called Six Californias, was launched by venture capitalist Tim Draper last year and would divide the state into North, South, West, and Central sections, plus Silicon Valley and a state called "Jefferson."

The Six Californias is not the first such proposal. Others have floated similar ideas, in theory--usually in an effort to liberate the state's conservative interior from the policies of the liberal coast. In 2011, Walter Russell Mead proposed dividing the state into five sections, pictured above: Pelosi-land (San Francisco and environs), Hemptopia (the rest of Northern California), Steinbeck (the Central Valley), Lost Angeles and Baja Norte.


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