Justin Bullock, FISM News
Seven rural counties in Oregon have voted to require county governments to look into leaving Oregon in order to join neighboring Idaho. All seven counties are located on the eastern side of Oregon and are largely much more politically conservative than the rest of the state. Union and Jefferson counties voted on the measure last year, and on Tuesday Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman counties joined them.
The movement is largely led by the group Citizens for Greater Idaho. The group has stated that 18-22 counties in Southern Oregon, extending all the way to Oregon’s Pacific coast, should leave Oregon in order to join Idaho due to political differences. The group also has ambitions for some counties in Northern California and South Eastern Washington to follow Oregon’s counties in joining Idaho. One of the leaders of the group, Mike McCarter, gave a statement after the most recent vote,
This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon… 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.
Mr. McCarter has described the movement as a peaceful revolution based in substantial cultural differences between rural and urban communities. However, the initiative has a long way to go before it can become a reality. Thus far the counties have only voted for their county governments to look into the possibility of such a move. If the citizens are serious about the proposition then they will have to get approval from both Idaho and Oregon state governments as well as the United States Congress.