San Luis Obispo County would be at the heart of a new California if a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three jurisdictions were to pass during the November election.
The radical plan — which would be the first division of an existing U.S. state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863 — qualified for the November ballot on Tuesday, the Secretary of State's office announced.
The plan calls for three new entities: Northern California, California and Southern California.
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If it were to pass, San Luis Obispo County and the rest of the Central Coast would retain the name California under the proposal, which would also include Monterey, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Benito and Ventura counties.
Northern California would include 40 counties from Santa Cruz to the Oregon border, including the Bay Area, the Sacramento region and parts of the San Joaquin Valley.
Southern California would be made up of Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare counties.
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, who formally submitted the proposal last September, said California's population, concentrated in urban and coastal areas, leaves other regions with diverse economies underrepresented.
"The citizens of the whole state would be better served by three small state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities, and towns," Draper said in his statement last year.
Draper unsuccessfully attempted to create six California states in 2012 and 2014, collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures for the 2014 initiative. It ultimately did not receive enough valid petition signatures, according to the L.A. Times.
Even if Californians voted for the initiative, it would still require congressional approval.