The campaign is gaining momentum. Organized by the Yes California Independence movement and dubbed #Calexit, the concept of California seceding from the Union could become a reality in 2018 if enough signatures are collected.
“If 50 percent of registered voters participate and 55 percent of those voting approve,” the secession would become a reality. This means that 585,407 signatures would need to be collected and half of those people would vote yes.
The signatures would need to be collected by July 25, which is the deadline to make the November 2018 ballot.
“Pundits laugh because historically it costs millions of dollars to accomplish this goal with paid signature gatherers,” according to an email plea. “As a grassroots organization, our resources are limited but every dollar you contribute does help.”
It does cost money to hire people to run around on foot and deliver pieces of paper, but in the age of electronic, internet communication, political movements become very cheap.
Beyond the cost and the need, though, is the fact that no state has ever successfully seceded from the Union. In fact, the civil war was fought to stop states from succession. As David A. Carrillo, executive director of Berkeley Law’s California Constitution Center, points out, there is no secession authority granted in either the U.S. or California constitution.
For now, only one in three California residents supports the movement. There is one fact that is working in their favor, though, and that is the mutual opposition that the majority of California residents feel towards President Donald Trump. If California does, in fact, leave the Union, Fox News has reported that they would have the sixth largest economy in the world. For the time being, we can only speculate, however, if Donald Trump continues to pass legislation that California residents disapprove, we could see the poll numbers continue to grow.