Early in November, Harney County, Oregon resoundingly voted to approve a ballot proposition that would make it become part of the Greater Idaho movement. The Greater Idaho project has the aim of re-arranging the borders of Idaho and Oregon by adding Oregon’s eastern and southern counties to Idaho.
63% of voters approved of this measure, while 37% were in opposition. Curiously, the Greater Idaho ballot proposal was the only county-wide issue being voted on and there were no statewide races.
According to the Greater Idaho website, “the turnout in Harney County was 70% higher than the statewide average for this month’s special elections.”
Mike McCarter, the president of Move Oregon’s Border, offered his take on the vote:
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Rural Oregon is declaring as loudly as it can that it does not consent to being misgoverned by Oregon’s leadership and chooses to be governed as part of a state that understands rural Oregon’s values and way of making a living. We call on the Oregon Legislature to not dare to hold these counties captive. Let the people decide which legislature they shall govern themselves by. This week’s poll shows that Idaho is ready to accept our counties.
Move Oregon’s Border now claims it has enough signatures to put the issue on the May 2022 ballot in Douglas County and Klamath County. In the meantime, citizens are still collecting petition signatures for the movement in Curry, Josephine, Morrow, and Umatilla counties. “In Coos, Crook, Gilliam, Wheeler, and Wallowa counties, we are asking citizens to contact their county commissioners to put an advisory question on their ballot,” stated McCarter, “however, we don’t need a vote from every county just to convince the state legislatures to move the border. We’re asking everyone to contact their state legislators now.”
Per a poll that was released on November 1, 2021, Idahoan voters strongly supported adding these counties to Idaho.
“Northwestern Oregon should want to let eastern and southern Oregon counties join Idaho. Because if they do, then state income tax revenue would improve by hundreds of dollars per person annually, because the per capita personal income of these counties is only as high as Idaho’s. Also, our counties elect representatives who gridlock the Oregon Legislature. If the Legislature wants to make progress, they’ll have to let our counties go,” McCarter commented.
What we’re seeing unfold in Idaho and Oregon is a sign of the times where millions of Americans are discontent with their current political situation.
As a result, they’ll find whatever means possible to carve out their political jurisdictions. This is perhaps the most pragmatic course of action for the US to allay tensions during these times of growing tension and polarization.