PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Greater Idaho movement has made headway after two Eastern Oregon counties voted to move the state lines for Oregon conservatives who want to live in Idaho, which is a red state.
During Tuesday’s midterm election, 60% of Morrow County voters said “yes” to county measure 25-88 to move the county to Idaho. In Wheeler County, 58.15% of voters also said “yes” to measure 35-29 to move the Idaho border.
The Greater Idaho movement reports that 11 of the 15 Oregon counties that would be moved to Idaho have voted in support of adjusting the state lines.
“The movement says that it does not need votes in every county because these election results demonstrate to state legislators that any eastern Oregon county would approve Greater Idaho measures,” spokesperson Matt McCaw said in a release. “County clerks have refused to allow the movement [to] gather signatures in Crook and Gilliam counties, and county commissioners in Crook, Gilliam, and Umatilla counties have not yet agreed to put an advisory question regarding the issue on the ballot.”
This past election isn’t the first time that voters have gone to the polls in support of a Greater Idaho. In the May 2022 primary election, Douglas and Josephine counties voted against the measure — with 57% and 55% “no” votes respectively. Over 56% of Klamath County residents, however, were in favor of becoming part of Idaho.
After Douglas and Josephine counties voted against the measure earlier this year, the Greater Idaho movement updated its map to include more Eastern Oregon counties.
Movement advocates feel that the beliefs of conservative Oregonians in those areas, as well as rural and Northwestern Oregon, are not being represented at the state level.
“We call on the Legislature to let each half of the state go their separate ways in peace,” Mike McCarter, the president of the Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho movement, said. “If western Oregon doesn’t like the risk of being forced to accept the gubernatorial candidate it voted against, then it should simply stop holding our counties captive in this unhappy marriage. Actually, it’s not even as dramatic as a divorce because we’re not breaking up a family. Moving a state border is similar to redistricting a utility provider.”
Greater Idaho’s full statement on what this election means for the movement can be found here.
Wallowa is projected to be the next county with the Greater Idaho measure on its ballot.