A tech investor’s measure to divide California into six states might not make it to voters come November 2016 if recent allegations of voter fraud turn out to be true. Opponents of “Six Californias,” who call themselves “One California,” filed a complaint with Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Thursday, claiming that the consultant hired to gather signatures may have misled voters.
As the Chronicle reports, the attorney for One California cited a recent article by the Bay Area News Group, in which voters from different parts of California say they were told the measure did the exact opposite of what it intends to do and would block the state from being split up.
As SFist previously reported, Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper is behind the Six Californias measure, spending $5 million so far. This week, he submitted more than a million signatures to the Secretary of State’s office and aims to have the measure on the November 2016 general election ballot. The county registrar will next determine if the measure has the 807,000 valid signatures required.
Arno Political Consultants conducted all of Six Californias’ signature gathering, hiring 1,000 people who were allegedly paid $3 per signature. Bay Area News Group reports that campaign-finance records show Arno was paid $1,317,913 in March. California elections code states that it’s a misdemeanor to intentionally misrepresent or make false statements about the “contents, purport or effect of the petition.” The firm’s owner is insisting the drive was done legally.
Even if by some miracle Six Californias gets on the 2016 ballot, it’s unlikely to pass. If it does, it would still require approval by Congress.