Calexit: Group has 180 days to collect signatures for secession

California has granted a pro-secession group 180 days to gather enough signatures to get their Calexit initiative on the ballot. From the Hill:

The California secretary of state’s office announced that the group could begin collecting signatures on Thursday.

The group needs 585,407 signatures from registered voters over the next 180 days to qualify for the ballot.

The mechanism here is not very straightforward. If the Yes California Independence Campaign can gather the needed signatures in time, that would put an initiative on the ballot next year. That initiative, if passed, would change portions of the California constitution and set up a California nationhood election in 2019. From the LA Times:

If the measure gets on the ballot and gains approval by a majority of voters, it would repeal clauses in the California Constitution stating that the state is an “inseparable part of the United States” and that the U.S. Constitution is the “supreme law of the land,” according to the title and summary prepared by the state attorney general’s office.

The measure would place another question on the ballot in 2019, asking whether California should become a separate country. If at least half of registered voters participate in that vote, with at least 55% of those voting to approve, the results would be treated as California’s declaration of independence.

If all of this sounds very fringe, keep in mind that a recent poll found 32% of Californians supported the idea of secession. So, at the very least, there should be millions of people willing to sign a petition to put this on the ballot next year. Given that this movement was accelerated by the election of Donald Trump its success or failure will probably depend on how President Trump is doing next year or, more precisely, how Democrats judge he is doing. Given the hair-on-fire response to his first week in office there’s not much reason to suppose things will settle down.

With recounts and faithless electors and protests unable to change the country’s course, angry progressives could decide secession is the only remaining path for ‘the resistance’ to take. Plus, the idea of declaring independence from Trump and ‘fly-over’ America might prove irresistible. Based on the polling, it already has for many on the left coast.