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State of secession

The United States may grow by a handful

Ryan Foley | Anchor STaff

Since the 1950s, the United States has become politically divided, much like it was over the issue of slavery over a century ago. Conservatives dominate in the deep south as well as the entire line of states from North Dakota to Texas. The northeast is the country’s biggest supporter of the Democratic party, as well as the Pacific Coast. However, there are some political divisions within states, which have caused parts of certain states to threaten to break off to form new states.
The most recent example can be found in Colorado. The Denver-Boulder area is what drives Colorado legislature, and is known for its liberal leanings. Last year, 11 Colorado counties asked voters if they would be interesting in forming a new state. Five of the 11 counties said they were.
Prior to the election, a meeting was held to determine state boundaries. The population of the five counties interested in seceding totals less than 30,000. Secession would require the approval of the state legislature, U.S. Congress, and a vote on an amendment to the state constitution redefining the state’s boundaries.
The Pacific state of Jefferson was first proposed in 1941, and the plans called for it to consist of four Oregon counties and three California counties. The State of Jefferson Scenic Byway is already in place. However, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Tim Draper, recently changed this proposal as part of his campaign called “Six Californias.”
The new Jefferson would include the thirteen northernmost counties of California. The other four Californias would be called North California, Silicon Valley, Central California and West California.
Draper’s petition would require 807,615 signatures from registered California voters to be put on the ballot this November, as ordered by the California secretary of state. Although this number may seem large, there are over 38 million people living in California, making the number of signatures required less than three percent of the total population.
Draper called California “ungovernable” as one state. Jefferson’s population would be 949,240; North California would have a population of 3,743,933; the population of Silicon Valley would be 6,617,208; Central California would consist of 4,122,543 people; 11,479,639 people would make up West California; and North Carolina would have 10,504,924 residents.
Rhode Island College freshman James Cook believes the proposed process as unnecessary.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” says Cook.
Despite its high taxes, California has been the most populous state since the 1970s, mostly because of its nice weather and tourist attractions such as Disneyland and Hollywood. California attracted its first visitors during the gold rush of the mid-1800s and became a state in 1850. California is also the third largest state by area.
While the secession of states may be mathematically inconvenient, it may be in the best interest of the people.  Only the voters in Colorado and California can give legislators the green light to go ahead with these plans.

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