Seven counties in Oregon have now voted to rearrange counties in eastern and southern Oregon to make them part of Idaho.
“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon,” Mike McCarter, president of Citizens for Greater Idaho and leader of the movement, said. “If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will. If we’re allowed to vote for which government officials we want, we should be allowed to vote for which government we want as well.”
Voters in Malheur, Sherman, Grant, Baker, and Lake counties all approved measures that would require county officials to take steps to promote moving the Idaho border west to incorporate their populations.
They join two other rural counties — Jefferson and Union — whose voters approved measures promoting a move to Idaho last year.
The local measures are backed by Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho, a local organization that wants to grow Idaho west and south into some counties in Northern California.
The advocacy group that McCarter presides over wrote a 41-page proposal to change the borders. Former President Donald Trump’s name was mentioned 17 times in the document.
Oregon’s Public Broadcasting says that Oregon and Idaho legislatures and the United States Congress will have to vote and sign off on the proposal.
“We just want to come alongside them and bolster the conservative support,” McCarter said.
“Adding Oregon counties to Idaho will take some pressure off Idaho’s housing market,” the advocacy group said. “Giving people more counties to choose from as they move into Idaho to gain political refuge from blue states.”
Idaho’s Republican Gov. Brad Little has said he supports incorporating more Oregonians within his state’s borders. But altering state lines is extremely unlikely.
Actually moving the lines would require a vote from the Oregon legislature, which Democrats firmly control. Oregon and Idaho would have to strike a formal deal, which would then need to be ratified by the U.S. Congress.