(WXIA) - A proposal from a venture capitalist to split the state of California into six smaller states is apparently gaining traction.
Tim Draper received the okay from the office of California's secretary of state Debra Bowen to begin collecting signatures on petitions.
The new states would be "South California," which would include the far southern reaches of the state, including San Diego and Orange County. "West California" would include Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. A much larger region to the northeast of that would be called "Central California" and would include Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton. The San Francisco Bay area, including Oakland and San Jose would be part of "Silicon Valley." The state of "North California" would include the Sacramento area, while "Jefferson" would include the far northern portions of the state and the cities of Redding and Eureka.
According to the secretary of state's office, Draper would need to collect 807,615 signatures from registered California voters within 150 days - by July 18 - to qualify to have the measure put on a ballot. If California's voters were to approve such a measure, it would have to go before the US Congress, which has the power to admit new states to the nation under Article IV, Section Three of the US Constitution.
One thing Draper and his supporters have not addressed is the potential change in the political climate and potential change in the balance of partisan power in Washington. Exactly how that would change, given the geographic divisions of the six states proposed by Draper, is not known.