Voters in two far northern California counties were split Tuesday on secession measures.
Del Norte County and Tehama County considered advisory measures that would ask those counties’ boards of supervisors to join a movement to create a 51st state known as Jefferson, according to the Associated Press. Early returns showed the secessionist measure was voted down by 59 percent of voters in Del Norte County, while just 51 percent of voters in Tehama County voters backed the proposal — a margin of 124 votes.
Separately, early returns showed that just 44 percent of voters in California’s Siskiyou County supported a ballot question to rename it the Republic of Jefferson, according to the AP. The boards of supervisors of both Siskiyou County and neighboring Modoc County voted to explore secession last September, citing a lack of representation in state government, and elected officials in Glenn and Yuba counties also voted to form a new state.
Any movement to form a new state would require approval from the state legislature and from Congress. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) also sounded invested in keeping those counties from breaking away.
“I’m going to definitely talk to the people of Jefferson and tell them to stick around,” Brown told reporters Tuesday night outside the governor’s mansion in Sacramento, as quoted by the AP.
Voters in Colorado were split on a 51st state question as well, when five counties out of the 11 that considered a ballot question last November favored secession.
Image via Shutterstock / spirit of america
This post has been updated.