LOS ANGELES - A proposal to split California into six separate US states has failed to garner enough signatures to put it to voters, officials said Friday.

Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper announced in July that he had submitted 1.3 million signatures backing his idea, in theory enough to get it on a state-wide ballot in November 2016.

But California’s secretary of state ruled Friday that only 66 percent of the signatures, from a random sampling, were valid, and therefore rejected the proposal.

Even if the measure made the ballot, and even if California’s 38 million voters backed it, it would still need approval by state lawmakers and Washington DC.

The six new states it proposed were Jefferson - which already has a separatist movement near the Oregon border - North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.

Six Californias, the group behind the initiative, immediately contended that the signatures had not been counted properly and vowed to re-count all of them themselves, and persuade authorities to change their mind.

“It is unfortunate that the current archaic system has delayed this process. It is yet another example of the dysfunction of the current system and reinforces the need for six fresh, modern governments.

“In the meantime, we will work with the secretary of state to verify all of the signatures gathered during the petition process.”

In July Governor Jerry Brown’s spokesman, Evan Westrup, said the proposal had “serious practical challenges.” On Friday he declined to comment on its failure to make the ballot.