SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Supporters of the movement for California to secede from the union and form its own country have taken their first formal steps to seek a statewide vote on the idea.
On Monday, the Yes California independence campaign submitted their ballot proposal (.pdf) to the state Attorney General’s office.
Secession supporters hope to place a measure on the 2018 ballot that would repeal language in the State Constitution saying that California is an “inseparable part” of the United States and to call for a special election on independence in 2019.
In a statement posted on their website, Yes California said it hopes to begin collecting signatures for the ballot measure early next year.
Yes California has been around since 2014, but the idea of secession in California has gained steam since the recent election of Donald Trump. Following the election, many people on social media using the hashtag #Calexit to express their frustration with the results. People in other states have made similar calls to secede from the United States after Trump won the presidency.
According to KPIX 5 political analyst Melissa Caen, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be the only way for a state to leave the union. Amending the Constitution is a long process that includes a two-thirds vote of both the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, along with the ratification of 38 state legislatures.
Residents in neighboring Oregon have already submitted their own ballot proposal on secession. The Oregon measure has language that would be open to forming a new nation with other states and Canadian provinces, including California.