An initiative that would split California into three states was submitted to the state Attorney General's Office Friday.
One state, which would be called California or a name to be chosen by its residents, would consist of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties.
A second state, Southern California or a name to be chosen by its residents, would consist of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Inyo, Madera and Mono counties.
Tulare County is not mentioned in the initiative, but is part of the area of the proposed state of Southern California. Initiative proponents have the right to revise their initiatives before signature-gathering begins.
The remaining 40 counties would be part of the state of Northern California or a name chosen by its residents.
In the initiative's statement of findings, author Tim Draper wrote "California is the nation's third largest state by geography, over two times larger than the average of the 50 states, with enormous and diverse economies, including agriculture, energy, technology and entertainment.
"As a consequence of these and other socioeconomic factors, political representation of California's diverse population and economies has rendered the state nearly ungovernable. Additionally, vast parts of California are poorly served by a representative government dominated by a large number of elected representatives from a small part of our state, both geographically and economically.
"The citizens of the whole state would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns."
Draper, a Menlo Park-based billionaire venture capitalist, was the author of a 2014 initiative to divide California into six states that failed to receive enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
The Attorney General's Office typically issues an official circulation title and summary 65 days after the submission of the initiative, which allows signature gathering to begin.
The initiative to split California into three states was filed one day after the filing of an initiative calling for a constitutional convention to propose a series of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, including creating a way for states to secede.