SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Californians may vote in 2021 about whether our state should become an independent country.

Proponents of the initiative got clearance from the Secretary of State on Friday to begin collecting signatures. If they collect enough , the initiative would go to a special election in 2021.

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Voters would then be asked whether California should become an independent country, in the form of a republic. If the initiative is approved by a majority of voters, it would require the Legislature to declare our independence from the United States. It also “requires California to invite and encourage international election monitors to observe and monitor the measure, including the voting process, collection of ballots, and certification of results.”

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The measure’s proponents must collect 365,880 signatures from registered voters by October 17, 2018, the next 180 days, in order to qualify for the ballot. The signatures are 5% of the total votes cast for the Governor in the November 2014 general election.

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The Secretary of State says holding a special election could potentially cost tens of millions of dollars to the state and counties.