Speed Reads

They'll All Still Be California Girls

'Six Californias' petition campaign fails to make the ballot

The Six Californias campaign, the much-vaunted petition effort by venture capitalist Timothy Draper to split the nation's largest state into six smaller ones, has failed to qualify for the ballot in 2016, election officials determined on Friday.

Under the standard procedure, each county election office conducted a random sampling of three percent of petition signatures, the San Francisco Chronicle explains. And based on that process, the secretary of state's office calculated that only 752,685 signatures would be valid — short of the 807,615 that would be needed, and far short of the more than 1.13 million signatures that the organization had turned in.

As the Chronicle notes, it had become clear for some time that many of the signatures were invalid — there were many duplicates, or other signatures from people who were not themselves registered voters. (A side note: The latter requirement may show a pitfall for a petition campaign that has as its key demographic the politically disaffected.)

For his part, though, Draper responded in a statement that his group's signature-gathering firm "predicted a much higher validity rate than the random sample result" — and that this development, too, shows the need for Six Californias.

"It is unfortunate that the current, archaic, system has delayed this process. It is yet another example of the dysfunction of the current system and reinforces the need for six fresh, modern governments. In the meantime, we will work with the Secretary of State to verify all of the signatures gathered during the petition process." [Timothy Draper, Six Californias]

Well, there's always next time.