California will remain in tact and will not be split into six pieces following the failure of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s “Six Californias” initiative to secure a spot on the November 2016 ballot due to insufficient signatures.
The Secretary of State’s Office made the announcement on Friday and reported that a random check conducted by the county registrars on about 54,000 of the more than 1.1 million petition signatures collected by Draper’s campaign revealed that there were a number of invalid signatures, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Based on that sampling, officials reportedly estimated that only 752,685 of the million-plus signatures would be considered valid; that figure falls short of the 807,615 signatures needed for the initiative to qualify for the 2016 ballot and vote.
Draper’s personal investment of $5.2 million into the initiative to break California up into six parts was not enough to secure a spot for a statewide vote, notes the Mercury News. Draper’s plan would break California down as follows:
- Silicon Valley: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey
- Jefferson: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity
- North California: Amador, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties
- Central California: Alpine, Bakersfield, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stockton, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne
- West California: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Ventura
- South California: Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego
The above breakup of California would create both the nation’s richest state (Silicon Valley) and also its poorest (Central California), according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, states the Mercury News.
The news reportedly came as an utter disappointment to some political experts such as Thad Kousser of UC San Diego. Although Kousser believes the initiative would not have passed, he said:
It would’ve been a fun thing to kick around for a couple of years. It could’ve been an important social debate, because it gave voice to a sense of alienation in California… This wasn’t a cure that Californians were going to swallow, but it would’ve been good for the state to have a conversation about the illness.
Draper blasted Friday’s findings. Although he did not specify whether he would be filing a lawsuit to contest the disqualifying claims, he insisted that his paid surveyors collected more than enough signatures to qualify for the measure, stating, “We are confident that a full check of the signatures would confirm that fact… It is yet another example of the dysfunction of the current system and reinforces the need for six fresh, modern governments.”