Here's What California Could Look Like If It Split Into 3 States

Tag yourself: I'm OG California.

by Josie Rhodes Cook
CBS News/YouTube

There hasn’t been a new state in a while, and apparently, someone in California decided it’s high time we get one. A proposal to divide California into three separate states on Tuesday qualified for the ballot in November’s general election, so there’s a slight (see: very slight) chance that the California we know now could be no more in the near future.

Here’s what happened: Venture capitalist Tim Draper reportedly made a proposal to break up the West Coast state in a campaign called “Cal 3,” and he got 402,468 valid signatures to support the idea, which is way more than what’s required by state law, CNN reported.

Is Three Californias Possible?

The next step is for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to certify the initiative to qualify for the November ballot on June 28, and California could be on its way to being three different states. Those states would be California, Northern California, and Southern California. Creative, right?

But there’s a huge catch here: It’s not all that simple to break up a state into separate entities, and it’s actually extremely unlikely that the three state proposal will actually come to fruition.

NorCal, SoCal, and...Cal?

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) - California

First, a majority of voters who cast ballots in November would have to agree with the proposal. Then, both houses of the California Legislature would have to approve, which probably won’t happen because, as The Los Angeles Times claimed, the lawmakers there would have to give up their jobs.

And if all of that happened, the three-state California plan would need congressional approval. California currently has two seats in the 100-person Senate, and the three new states would have six seats in a 104-person chamber, which would cause a lot of headaches when it comes to representation and power.

What Would This Look Like?

It’s still kind of fun to think about the possibilities of what all these Californias would look like. There are plenty of images floating around that give us an idea of how maps would be changed forever by the California split — again, if it actually came to pass. Which it probably won’t.

But we can dream, right?

If California were split into three, somewhat equally populated states, it would go from being the most populous state to becoming the 4th, 5th, or 8th largest states, according to CNN.

And in the extremely unlikely event that the proposal does come to pass, the maps showing where all those people live would be forever changed.

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