13th Oregon County Votes to Explore Moving Border With Idaho

Allan Stein
By Allan Stein
May 24, 2024Politics
The movement of counties in eastern Oregon to join Idaho is gaining traction. With the passage of Measure 7-86 in Crook County on Tuesday, the residents have signaled their support to join the growing number of counties that seek to move the Oregon–Idaho border.

Voters in Oregon’s Crook County voted to explore moving the border with Idaho, making it the 13th county in the Beaver State to adopt the ballot measure.

“This is another big win for our movement and, more importantly, for the people of eastern Oregon and Crook County,” said Matt McCaw, executive director of the Greater Idaho Movement, in response to the positive May 21 vote on ballot Measure 7–86.

The Greater Idaho Movement seeks to shift the border between Oregon and Idaho to include 14 conservative-leaning eastern Oregon counties and parts of three others.

“Moving the border is a win-win solution that will get better governance for people living on both sides of the Cascades,” Mr. McCaw told The Epoch Times.

“It’s a good idea that people across Oregon and Idaho support and it’s time for elected leaders to take action to make it happen.”

More than 53 percent of Crook County voted for Measure 7–86. The final tally will be available on June 6.

“When combined with the other counties across eastern Oregon, our average winning percentage is over 58 percent,” Mr. McCaw said.

“It’s clear that the people of eastern Oregon want this to move forward.”

Gilliam and Umatilla counties in eastern Oregon have yet to vote on the measure.

There are 36 counties in Democrat-controlled Oregon with its capital in Salem.

Now in Salem’s Court

Greater Idaho Movement officials are now calling on Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek and other state lawmakers to listen to voters and “take this issue up.”

In a statement, Greater Idaho Movement President Mike McCarter said the May 21 vote represents three years of reaching out to voters about the “type of government they desire.”

“What they’re telling us through these votes is that they want their leaders to move the border. In our system, the people are the ones in charge, and it’s time for the leaders representing them to follow through,” he said.

Greater Idaho Movement officials say they feel the number of favorable votes in Crook County would have been higher if not for an “extensive ‘no’ vote campaign funded by Portland groups.”

In 2023, the Idaho House passed a memorial or legislative petition inviting Oregon to begin border negotiations.

Supporters of the merger believe that moving the border would benefit both sides of the state and allow for better representation and popular governance.

However, even if legislatures in both states approve the county merger, or secession as some call it, the U.S. Congress would need to authorize the merger to move forward.

Mr. McCaw said he believes there is “more than enough evidence that many Oregonians support discussing moving the border.

From The Epoch Times

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