Venture Capitalist Timothy Draper filed more than 402,468 valid signatures in all of the state’s counties for his proposal, qualifying it for the general election ballot in November, California’s Secretary of State said on Tuesday. Draper had actually garnered 605,026 signatures; a random sampling found 76 percent were projected to be valid.
Under the proposal, which Draper submitted to the state Attorney General’s office last September, California would be split into: Northern California, which would consist of 40 counties; California, which would be composed of six counties, including Los Angeles; and Southern California, which would house the remaining 12 counties. If the state’s residents vote for the proposal, California’s legislature would have a year, beginning in January of 2019, to implement it.
“The citizens of the whole state would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities, and towns,” Draper wrote to the Attorney General’s office when explaining his proposal.
Draper, known for his early investments in companies like Hotmail, had been pushing this initiative for years, but never amassed enough signatures. This proposal is an amendment from the one he pushed in 2014, which called for splitting the state into six parts.
“At best, the system seems to be on a spiral down. At worst it’s a monopoly, and in a monopoly, they can charge whatever they want and provide whatever service they want,” he told TIME of the reason behind his proposal in a 2014 interview. “In a competitive environment, people get good service and they pay fair prices.”He also told TIME during that interview, however, that a proposal splitting California into three would not be as effective, because it would just replicate the current system, but on a smaller scale. “My belief is with two or three you’d end up with the same kind of environment, where you’d end up with two monopolies or three monopolies,” he said at the time.