California venture capitalist Tim Draper yesterday turned in way more than enough signatures to qualify a proposal to split California into three states for the November ballot, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Draper, who previously backed a proposal to split California into six states, was an early investor in Skype and Tesla. He turned in about 600,000 signatures and will need 365,880 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
With nearly 40 million people (ten times Oregon's population), California is by far the most populous state and its size has led to concerns that it is ungovernable.
California also has an outsized influence on Oregon—both in economic and interstate emigration terms. Portland is the fourth most-popular destination for people leaving the Golden State.
Splitting the state would triple California's influence in the U.S. Senate, one of many reasons that Congress, which would have to approve the split would probably nix it in the unlikely event state voters approve separation.
"There's very little support for tripling California's representation in the U.S. Senate," Jack Pitney, who teaches politics at Claremont McKenna College told the Mercury News.