LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A novel proposal that could have seen California split into six states appears to be short of the number of signatures needed to appear on the November 2016 ballot.

The California Secretary of State’s Office announced Friday that a preliminary count of petition signatures came in below the number needed for the state to invest in a “full check.”

Signatures from 807,615 registered voters are needed to schedule a vote on the measure, which would allow California to seek congressional approval of the split. That number reflects 8 percent of the ballots cast in the November 2010 gubernatorial election.

But the supporters of the initiative first needed a preliminary count of at least 767,235 valid signatures, and fell nearly 15,000 short of that number based on a “random sample,” according to Nicole Winger, California’s deputy secretary of state for communications.

The initiative’s author, venture capitalist Tim Draper, told City News Service that he has some doubts about the process used to make the preliminary count, and believes the standard was met.

“We are confident that a full check of the signatures would confirm that fact,” Draper said. “Six Californias will conduct a review of the signatures determined to be invalid by the registrars in several counties to determine if they were in fact valid signatures.”

Draper said an internal review had predicted many more valid signatures, and backers of the proposal would work with the Secretary of State’s Office “to verify all of the signatures gathered during the petition process.”

Fabian Nunez, a former California Assembly speaker who chairs OneCalifornia, a committee opposing the initiative, called it  “a solution in search of a problem that didn’t address any of our state’s challenges.”

He added that it would create “massive inequities” among the six states.

Opponents of the measure have also stated doubts that Congress would approve such a split. since it would give the new states a total of 12 U.S. senators.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

 

 

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