In what looks to be the end of an effort loved by the national media and hotly debated closer to home, state elections officials say the proposed initiative to split California into six separate states has failed to gather enough valid signatures for a place on the 2016 ballot.
The final tally of signatures checked in all 58 counties shows the initiative is 14,550 valid voter signatures short of the number needed to check every one of the more than 1.3 million signatures turned in by the campaign led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim Draper.
California election law stipulates that after a random sample of signatures, an initiative must have a projected validity rate between 95 percent and 110 percent of the total needed to actually qualify for the ballot. Fewer than 95 percent, and the initiative is deemed dead.
That's what happened to Six Californias on Friday afternoon. (PDF of the signature tally is here.)
Draper's measure to split California into six separate states was originally eyed for this fall's ballot. But the campaign struggled to gather signatures quickly enough, and backers then shifted their focus to the November 2016 ballot -- which gave them until midsummer. Draper spent $5.2 million of his own money to gather those signatures.