SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Californians will not have the chance to vote on a plan to fracture into six smaller states, at least not by 2016.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office confirmed Friday that the initiative had failed to gather the required signatures to land on the 2016 ballot.
As recently as July the proposal appeared likely to make the statewide ballot, but it fell short of authorized signatures by a deadline Friday.
Under the plan much of the Bay Area, including Santa Cruz and Monterey, would become the state of Silicon Valley under the proposal. The northernmost counties would become Jefferson; some North Bay counties would become part of North California, an area that stretches through Sacramento to the Sierra; Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield would be among Central California’s largest cities; Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara would end up in West California; and San Diego would become the major city in South California.
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The proposal is largely dismissed by opponents, however. They say that even if the measure were to be approved by voters, splitting the state would still require an act by Congress that would create an unfavorable power shift in Washington for other states.
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper was the driving force behind the campaign. It’s not clear whether he will continue to pursue the idea after the setback.