Voters in red Oregon counties vote to become part of Idaho

Thousands of Oregon residents voted for their elected officials to consider seceding from their state and becoming a part of Idaho.

In seven eastern Oregon counties, voters voted in favor of the ballot measure being pushed by the group Move Oregon’s Borders For A Greater Idaho. If the measure is successfully implemented, Idaho will take over roughly three-quarters of Oregon’s landmass. Congress would take the issue up once passed by both state legislatures.

The group says that Oregon’s liberal lawmakers 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 website says. “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.”

“The purpose of having state lines is to allow this variance. The Oregon/Idaho border was established 161 years ago and is now outdated. It makes no sense in its current location because it doesn’t match the location of the cultural divide in Oregon,” the group added.

Oregon currently has two Democrats serving in the Senate, and has voted for Democrats in presidential elections since 1988, while Idaho, two Republicans in the senate and has voted for Republicans in presidential elections since 1968.

“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon,” lead organizer Mike McCarter 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.”

The group’s website explains the historical precedent for a state’s changing its borders, including in 1958, when Oregon’s state line was last adjusted. “West Virginia was admitted to the Union in June 1863. Later, the Virginia/West Virginia border was moved in August 1863 to annex Berkeley County to West Virginia, and then again in November 1863 to annex Jefferson County,” the site says.

Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little said he supports the measure but acknowledged its a long shot.

“I understand why many people want to be Idahoans. They’re looking at Idaho fondly because of our strong economy, regulatory atmosphere, and our values. Still, the decision to change Idaho and Oregon’s borders would need to go through both states’ legislatures and the U.S. Congress for approval. There’s a lot that needs to happen before the border is within the realm of possibility,” he said in a statement.