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Harney County voters join others looking to join ‘Greater Idaho’

Voters in eight Oregon counties have directed their county officials to discuss joining 'Greater Idaho'
Move Oregon's Border/Citizens for a Greater Idaho
Voters in eight Oregon counties have directed their county officials to discuss joining 'Greater Idaho'

BURNS, Ore. (AP) — Another rural, conservative county in Oregon has expressed interest in becoming part of Idaho.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that voters in Harney County on Tuesday approved a ballot measure which requires local officials to hold meetings about moving the county into Idaho. The measure passed with more than 63% of the vote. The unofficial results were: 1,567 for and 917 against.

Harney became the eighth of Oregon’s 36 counties to vote for considering adjusting Oregon’s border to put much of rural eastern and southern Oregon in Idaho.

“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,” said Mike McCarter, a La Pine resident who heads Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho, which is behind the initiatives.

These ballot initiatives are non-binding; the point of them, McCarter says, is to force Idaho’s and Oregon’s legislatures to take up the issue, which is highly unlikely.

If Idaho and Oregon were to negotiate a border adjustment, the U.S. Congress would have to sign off on it.

The other counties that have voted for a Move Oregon’s Border-backed initiative in the last two years: Baker, Grant, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Sherman and Union. Two small counties have voted against the border-moving idea.

Douglas and Klamath counties likely will be next to vote.

News release from Citizens for Greater Idaho:

Eighth Oregon County Votes in Favor of Greater Idaho

Harney County, Oregon voted heavily in favor of a ballot measure placed on the ballot by petitioners for the Greater Idaho movement in a special election Tuesday. This movement seeks to shift the Oregon/Idaho border to add eastern and southern Oregon counties to Idaho.

Voters in favor outnumbered those opposed 1.7 to 1: 63% voted in favor, 37% opposed. Greater Idaho was the only county-wide issue on the ballot, and there were no statewide races, and the turnout in Harney County was 70% higher than the statewide average for this month’s special elections.

Mike McCarter of La Pine, president of Move Oregon’s Border, reacted to the vote: “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.”

In May, all five counties that voted on the issue voted in favor, averaging 62% in favor, 38% opposed. Two counties voted in favor in November 2020.  Move Oregon’s Border says it has enough signatures to get the issue on the May 2022 ballot in Douglas County and Klamath County.  Citizens are still collecting 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,” said Mike 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.”

poll released Monday shows that Idahoan voters are strongly in favor of adding these counties to Idaho. A June poll found Oregonians undecided on the issue.

“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 said.

The Associated Press

KTVZ news sources



        1. ROTFLMAO!!!!! The assumption being that Idaho wants the debt and ongoing handouts these failed counties have accululated and require!!!! These trump kooks apparently have nothing better to do than waste time and money on whining, totally failing lawsuits, meetings and ballots!!!! failing is a way of life for these regressive hillbillies!!!! Try getting a job maybe!!!

  1. If you take the time to do the math with percent of people that voted for the measure without even taking into account how many people even voted at all, the overall percent is 62. Adding up all the counties populations (if everyone voted for/against the measures) is only 120967. 62% of that is almost exactly 75K people that would have voted for the measure. In comparison to the rest of the state theres 4168472 remaining that have not even voted for or against yet. This whole Greater Idaho/State of Jefferson nonsense is an absolute waste of time.

    1. The people associated with this movement are the same people who pushed to waste millions on false claims the election was stolen. They love wasting money just as much as their opposition. Only difference is, rather than trying to help the greater good of our communities with government funds, they like wasting money on themselves. Things like moving state lines, controlling other peoples bodies, fraudulent voter-fraud claims, and their other right-wing self-centered conspiracy theories. But waste a dollar to help America? Hell no. Not from these people.

  2. Seems like a lot of effort for something that has exactly ZERO chance of ever going anywhere. If people have all this extra time on their hands, why not use it for something that could actually happen.

    1. I think the zero change sentiment could have been said about independence from England, emancipation of slaves, and the right to vote for women, US entering WW II, creation of national parks and forests, bag limits for taking fish/birds/big game, eliminating lead from gasoline. This things did not happen when first proposed and those who said no to the change didn’t change without some struggle. When enough determined people want change, it can happen.

  3. There is a 0% chance this happens. It is close to impossible to alter the borders of states. There are rural and urban parts of every single state in the country, with different political opinions. This is stupid.

  4. If all the counties in Eastern Oregon voted to succeed from Oregon, they could petition Congress to form the 51st state. Sort of like West Virginia became a state by succeeding from Virginia. Unfortunately, right now, Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden wouldn’t buy it.

  5. It’s interesting how so many people posting on this site have so many negative things to say about the people that want to make this happen. They say things like how terrible this part of Oregon is, and how much of a drag economically these counties are on the state. You think they would support those counties move to Idaho. Guess ya’ll just complain to complain, sound like morons honestly.

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