Five Oregon counties will vote on leaving the state to join "Greater Idaho" in upcoming May elections, according to a Washington Times Wednesday report.
Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman counties will put the initiative to alter the state borders to the ballot, according to Mike McCarter, the leader of Move Oregon’s Border.
“Oregon is a powder keg because counties that belong in a red-state like Idaho are ruled by Portlanders,” McCarter said, adding that, "this state protects Antifa arsonists, not normal Oregonians, it prioritizes one race above another for vaccines and program money and in the school curriculum, and it prioritizes Willamette Valley above rural Oregon."
McCarter asserted that an initiative for several counties to join Idaho is not secession, since it does not intend to interfere with the balance of power in the US Senate or change the number of states in the country.
"We're not trying to change a single thing with Idaho," McCarter said of the Oregon counties, "We just want to come alongside them and maintain the values."
According to The Washington Times, in Baker County, organizers exceeded the 496 signatures required by submitting 746, with the county clerk noting that 630 of the signatures had been accepted.
A move by five Oregon counties, however, even if supported by voters, would also require the permission of three state legislatures and of both houses of the US Congress.
The activists with Greater Idaho claim that the border between the blue Beaver State and the red Gem State is "outdated" and does not properly represent what they refer to as a "cultural divide" in Oregon. According to the movement, rural counties are more conservative and, in his view, would be better off joining Idaho, "one of the 4 most conservative states in the country".
The movement also said that 10 Idaho state legislators supported the initiative, including the state's Senate Majority Leader and House Assistant Majority Leader.
"Since then, we’ve met with several more, all in favor. Only a single Democrat criticized it", the group suggests on its website.