Speed Reads

Six Flags?

Campaign to split California into 6 new states says it will be on the 2016 ballot

Organizers said Tuesday that they have more than enough petition signatures for a wild new ballot initiative in California: To break apart the Golden State itself, and create six separate new states in its place.

The "Six Californias" campaign said it has gathered 1.3 million signatures, well above the 808,000 that they would need to make it to the ballot, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, even if the signatures are valid, such a referendum would be held during the general election way off in 2016, rather than this November.

"We're saying, make one failing government into six great states," said the initiative's leader, Silicon Valley capitalist Tim Draper. He personally delivered 44,000 signatures to the registrar's office in Sacramento County, the state capital region — which, under his plan, would be located in the future state of "Northern California." (Draper himself would live in a state he calls "Silicon Valley.")

However, such a plan is very unlikely to pass — and even if it did, the U.S. Constitution would then require the consent of Congress to approve the creation of new states with two senators each. And as the Chronicle notes, the actual process of separation would provide a veritable nightmare scenario of complications: Water rights, prisons, state universities, parks, beaches, and roads — plus a drastic problem of serious income inequality between the separate states.