13th Oregon county votes to secede and join Idaho

"With this latest result in Crook County, there's no excuse left for the Legislature and Governor to continue to ignore the people's wishes."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Tuesday, Crook County became the 13th county in Oregon to vote to secede from the Democratic-controlled state and join neighboring Idaho, a conservative state that they believe better represents their values. The measure passed with 53 percent of the vote.

Organizers of Measure 7-86, also known as the "Greater Idaho Measure," say the decision to secede is because of the state's progressive policies and high crime rates. They allege they have been alienated in Oregon and that moving to Idaho would enable citizens to benefit from reduced taxes as well as improved governance and representation.

According to the proposal, the Oregon border would be moved 200 miles to the west. This would result in 14 counties and a few partial counties falling under Idaho state borders.

"The Oregon/Idaho line was established 163 years ago and is now outdated.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 measure's website states.

"We want an economy that is not held back by Oregon regulations and taxes, including environmental regulations. We’ll still have federal and Idaho regulations, and that’s plenty," the website reads. "Idaho knows how to respect rural counties and their livelihoods."

However, the vote lacks legislative force and merely signifies that citizens support notifying their state and federal representatives of their support for annexing a portion of Oregon through negotiations, according to the Daily Mail.

Greater Idaho Executive Director Matt McCaw said it's the first step. "The voters of eastern Oregon have spoken loudly and clearly about their desire to see border talks move forward," said McCaw.

"With this latest result in Crook County, there's no excuse left for the Legislature and Governor to continue to ignore the people's wishes," he added, referencing Crook County's vote on Tuesday night to secede.

"We call on the Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate President to sit down with us and discuss next steps towards changing governance for eastern Oregonians, as well as for the legislature to begin holding hearings on what a potential border change will look like," McCaw concluded.

Mike Carter, the president of the movement, said Tuesday night's vote means it's time for legislators to follow through and listen to the will of the people.

"For the last three years we've been going directly to voters and asking them what they want for their state government," said Carter.

"What they're telling us through these votes is that they want their leaders to move the border," he said. "In our system, the people are the ones in charge, and it's time for the leaders representing them to follow through."

A recent poll conducted by NewsNation revealed that the majority of Idahoans support Oregon's measure.

Though only a small modification, the Oregon state boundary line was last altered in 1958.

Since progressive politicians have taken control of the Oregon state legislature, there has been a mass exodus of residents as the state continues on a decline due to failed progressive policies including high crime rates, lack of prosecution and police officers, and the homeless and drug epidemic.

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