An initial vote was performed on Tuesday for residents of five eastern OR counites, where they voted overwhelmingly in favor of leaving OR to join neighboring ID, breaking free of the shadow of Portland.
Voters in Union and Jefferson counties had already won by a landslide on the same issue, which had already appeared on their November ballot in the general elections held on Nov. 20 2020.
According to the Idaho Statesman, they are now joined by voters in Lake, Grant, Malheur, Baker and Sherman counties in expressing their desire to move forward with a process which would make them all residents of ID.
The initial measure represents the start of a long and uncertain process, which some people have described as a "long shot". The process itself has been dubbed the "Greater Idaho project", and has been spurred on by what many local residents see as a widening gap in political preferences and values between those counties and OR's state legislature, which is dominated by progressives from cities such as Portland.
Mike McCarter, Citizens for Greater Idaho's president, mentioned the following in a prepared statement:
"This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon. 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."
For now, officials will meet and discuss the issue a minimum of three times per year in attempt to move the project forward.
However, approval by both the ID and OR state legislatures would be necessary in order for the project to ultimately succedd. It would also require approval by the US Congress, which is currently controlled by Democrats.