The proponents of a new initiative seeking to separate California as an independent country from the United States received approval to gather signatures. The initiative is popularly known as Calexit.
On Monday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the proponents of the measure, Marcus Ruiz Evans and Louis Marinelli need to collect the signature of 365,880 voters in order to qualify for the ballot.
Evans and Marinelli are co-founders of Yes California Calexit Campaign. They have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure. It means, they must submit the signatures to county election officials on October 17.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra prepared the official title and summary of the Calexit plan, which reads:
REQUIRES A VOTE IN 2021 ON WHETHER CALIFORNIA SHOULD BECOME AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY. INITIATIVE STATUTE
Based on the summary, California voters will decide in a special election in May 2021 whether California should become an independent country in the form of a republic.
The state is required to invite and encourage international election observers to witness the voting process, collection of ballots, and certification of results. If majority of voters approve the measure, the legislature will declare California’s independence from the United States.
In a blog post, Marinelli said they realize that 2021 seems a long time to wait. He explained that they need time to have a serious dialogue with California voters regarding the state’s independence. He said, “The voters need to make an informed decision when they go to the polls to determine California’s political future.”
On the other hand, Evans believe Californians will want to secede from the United States if Pres. Trump is re-elected in 2020. He said their ballot initiative will make a vote on that matter possible.
According to him, “We are asking the people to hedge their bet in 2020: vote against Donald Trump, but at the same time vote to schedule an independence referendum for six months later on May 4, 2021. You may end up wanting the referendum” if the President wins another term.
Calexit proponents driven by “irreconcilable difference” between California and Trump Admin.
Evans and Marinelli pointed to California’s “irreconcilable differences” with the federal government as their reason for pushing the Calexit initiative.
California is at odds with the Trump administration on immigration, taxation, climate change policies and other issues.
Gov. Jerry Brown rejected the Trump administration plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Although the governor agreed to deploy up to 400 National Guard troops, he made it clear that the troops’ mission is to fight transnational crimes. The troop will not participate in immigration enforcement.
Last month, the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against California over its sanctuary policies. Gov. Brown said the litigation means the federal government is “basically going to war against the state of California.”
When it comes to the GOP tax reform law, California Democratic leaders including Gov. Brown are not happy with it. Under the law, Californians will suffer the largest net tax increase of $12.1 billion, according to the analysis of the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).