Oregon Counties Vote to Become Idaho
Could what many thought as a post-Civil War fantasy could be 21st Century reality? I believe this has never happened in recent or perhaps ever in American History; parts of one state continue to move legislatively towards becoming part of another.
Five counties in eastern Oregon voted for becoming a part of Idaho on May 18: Sherman, Lake, Grant, Baker, and Malheur. No counties voted against. The average was 62% in favor. Two additional Oregon counties had already voted in favor in November: Union and Jefferson. The results are courtesy of a press release from the organization Greater Idaho.
Why would Oregonians want to become part of Idaho? It comes down to Conservative values. Rural Oregon lacks influential representation at the state capitol. Liberal population centers like Portland overwhelm the lesser populated parts of Oregon. The grassroots effort continues to gain votes and momentum.
In the five counties that voted on this issue, the average turnout was 43%, much higher than the statewide average of 25% for this election.
Isn't this secession?
Not according to the group's web site, Greater Idaho says states moving their borders has happened before in American History. “Prior to 1921, 36 compacts between states were put into effect with the consent of Congress; virtually all of these settled boundaries between contiguous states.” These interstate compacts are constitutional according to Article 1, section 10 of the US Constitution.
Greater Idaho did get a hearing during this years session of the Idaho Legislature. Idaho legislators Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R) and Rep. Judy Boyle are mentioned as supporters who plan to introduce moving the boarders of Idaho during next session.
How many counties?
Geographically Greater Idaho wants the rural eastern, southern counties, and a few in Northern California moved to the Gem State. Idaho's land and political ideology reflect the values of those areas as opposed to the Antifa protest riddled Portlandia.
If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won't hold our counties captive against our will," said Mike McCarter, president of Citizens for Greater Idaho, "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."
Is there a benefit to Idaho?
The Greater Idaho web site claims that adding Oregon counties to Idaho will take some pressure off Idaho's housing market by giving people more counties to choose from as they move into Idaho to gain political refuge from blue states. The group also explains that rural Oregon counties would strengthen Idaho by paying more than their share of Idaho's state taxes, because they will have higher average incomes than Idaho does.