LOS ANGELES, Feb 20 (Reuters) - California's top election official said activists seeking to split the most populous U.S. state into six states can start collecting signatures needed to get the issue on the November ballot.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen said on Tuesday that the measure needs the signatures of 807,615 registered California voters by July 14 in order to qualify for the state ballot.
The initiative's chief proponent, venture capitalist Tim Draper, told ABC News that the most populous U.S. state has become "ungovernable."
Draper, founder of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Juvetson, said "it is more and more difficult for Sacramento to keep up with the social issues from the various regions of California. With six Californias, people will be closer to their state governments and states can get a refresh."
The proposed measure would divide California into six states, called Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.
Such a move would require approval by the U.S. government. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Amanda Kwan)