Residents of San Bernardino County, California, have voted to research the possibility of secession from the state.
Voters approved a ballot measure directing officials to look into the legal realities of separating from California to establish a new state.
The county, located east of Los Angeles, has suffered from sharp increases in cost of living, as well as rising crime and homelessness. Should the county proceed with efforts to secede from the state, their request must be approved by the California State Legislature and Congress, according to Fox News.
San Bernardino is a 20,000-square-mile county with a population of over 2 million residents – a larger population than over a dozen states.
Curt Hagman, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said that the county has “a lot of frustration overall” with the state, which he said has failed to fund the county properly. The city of San Bernardino previously filed a bankruptcy case in 2012 amid a shortage of funds.
Hagman also cited inflation and the state’s pandemic policies as other reasons for their decision.
However, Democratic officials of San Bernardino have dismissed the measure as politically motivated.
Kristin Washington, who chairs the county’s Democratic Party, said of the proposal: “Putting it on a ballot was a waste of time for the voters. The option of actually seceding from the state is not even something that is realistic because of all the steps that actually go into it.”
Despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans by about 30,000, and the county voting Democratic in every presidential election since 2004, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom lost the county by 5 points in the November midterms, according to KABC.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS
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