That didn’t take long.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office on Tuesday cleared backers of a initiative seeking California’s eventual secession from the U.S. to start collecting the 585,000-plus signatures required to make it onto the 2018 ballot. An earlier signature drive for a similar initiative failed in April.
The latest proposed initiative does not call for immediate secession. Instead, it forms a commission to examine the best strategies for California to pursue independence, plus deletes part of the state constitution that declares California an inseparable part of the U.S. The measure also instructs the governor and lawmakers to negotiate greater autonomy for California.
Reaction on social media to the proposal, dubbed CalExit after Britain’s recent Brexit vote, was swift. The state’s critics, in particular, embraced the proposal with glee, while others raised logistical concerns over a potential exit from the U.S. and some endorsed the idea as a potential escape from Donald Trump’s presidency.