Story at a glance

  • Five Oregon counties voted in favor of leaving the state in elections Tuesday, becoming the latest to join an effort to move to Idaho.
  • The proposal, which was pushed by the Move Oregon’s Borders for a Greater Idaho, would be a step toward Idaho taking over roughly three-quarters of Oregon’s land
  • Tuesday’s ballot measure was the first step to have local officials consider the move, with three counties mandating regular meetings to discuss the implications.

Five Oregon counties voted in favor of leaving the state in elections Tuesday, becoming the latest to join an effort to move to Idaho. 

The proposal, which was pushed by the Move Oregon’s Borders for a Greater Idaho, would be a step toward Idaho taking over roughly three-quarters of Oregon’s land, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported (OPB). A successful move would require approval from the state legislature and the United States Congress. 

Tuesday’s ballot measure was the first step to have local officials consider the move, with three counties mandating regular meetings to discuss its implications.

The group behind the effort maintains they are seeking the move because Oregon’s state government is dominated by lawmakers who don’t represent their respective county’s values. 

“They don’t protect us from rioters, forest arsonists, or school curricula that teach kids to hate Americans and Americanism,” the group’s webpage states. “And they pass laws that violate our conscience. We can’t let our money support their system anymore. We are outnumbered, we don’t have leverage, and things will continue to get worse.”

“Idaho respects traditional morality and justice, and it doesn’t get in the way of rural livelihoods. It has lower tax rate and a lower cost of living,” the group added. 


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The seven counties that have voted to consider leaving the state — Lake, Grant, Baker, Malheur, Union, Sherman, and Jefferson — voted predominantly for former President Trump in 2020, although President Biden won the state with 57 percent of the vote, Business Insider reported

“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon,” Mike McCarter, spokesman for the Greater Idaho Movement, said in a statement Wednesday morning, according to OPB. 

“If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will,” McCarter said. “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.”


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Published on May 20, 2021