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Ballot measures

'Calexit' supporters to take another shot at securing California independence

Backers of an effort for California independence gathered outside the Capitol before turning in their initiative on May 19. (Liam Dillon / Los Angeles Times)
Backers of an effort for California independence gathered outside the Capitol before turning in their initiative on May 19. (Liam Dillon / Los Angeles Times)

Supporters of a bid for California independence are again submitting plans for a 2018 statewide ballot measure to potentially leave the United States.

Members of the California Freedom Coalition gathered outside the state Capitol on Friday before turning in their proposed initiative to the state attorney general’s office for review.

Cindy Sheehan, who gained international attention as an anti-war protestor after her son died during the Iraq war in 2004, told the Los Angeles Times at the gathering that the state should stop subsidizing a federal government that she characterized as out of step with California values.

“We don’t feel like we have a say 3,000 miles away in Washington,” Sheehan said.

The petition, known informally as Calexit, is the second formal bid that secessionists have made since President Trump’s election in November, though numerous organizations have attempted similar efforts over the years. Backers pulled the first initiative after substantial infighting within groups advocating for independence.

The current initiative wouldn't necessarily result in the state exiting the country, but could allow California to be a “fully functioning sovereign and autonomous nation” within the United States.

After receiving the ballot measure, the attorney general’s office will give it a title and summary. Backers will need to collect nearly 600,000 valid voter signatures on petitions to place it on the ballot.

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