Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment seeking California’s secession from the U.S. can begin collecting voter signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot, the secretary of state’s office said Thursday.
The so-called Calexit movement emerged within days of the upset presidential victory of Republican Donald Trump, who lost California by nearly 4.3 million votes. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that nearly one in three Californians support the state leaving the U.S.
Proponents have until July 25 to collect 585,407 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.
The proposed measure would strike language from the California Constitution defining the state as “an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.” If it passed, there would be a statewide special election in March 2019 to ask voters if they want California to become an independent country.
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State campaign finance records show that Yes California has opened a fundraising committee but has not reported any contributions. Besides the measure’s long odds of qualifying for the ballot, let alone passing at the polls, any effort by California to leave the U.S. likely would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That would require approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-quarters of the states.