Wallowa becomes 12th Oregon county to seek secession to Idaho

"Western Oregon would be free of our interference if they stopped holding eastern Oregon captive and let our communities join Idaho."

Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina

Wallowa County in eastern Oregon submitted a petition aimed at forcing a ballot initiative in 2023 that would move the county out of Democrat-led Oregon and into GOP-led Idaho and is part of the Greater Idaho movement aimed to "relocate the Oregon/Idaho border to make both states better."

According to Greater Idaho's website, a spokesman for the Greater Idaho movement, Matt McCaw, said, "Two major statewide ballot measures got 51 percent of the vote last month. That means eastern Oregon came within one percentage point of vetoing them. Western Oregon would be free of our interference if they stopped holding eastern Oregon captive and let our communities join Idaho."

Wallowa is the 12th Oregon county that has voted to leave and become part of Idaho. If the petition gets enough signatures the County Clerk would advance an initiative onto the May 2023 Wallowa County ballot. That ballot measure was proposed by Greater Idaho and has the votes of eleven other counties. 

For the counties to officially move from one state to another it would take the efforts of legislatures in Idaho, Oregon, and the US Congress to make the change.

In November, Democrat Tina Kotek was elected Governor of Oregon in a tight race bearing out GOP nominee Christine Drazen.

According to the Daily Mail, McCarter said, "If western Oregon doesn't like the risk of being forced to accept the gubernatorial candidate it voted against, then it should simply stop holding our counties captive in this unhappy marriage."

"Actually, it's not even as dramatic as a divorce because we're not breaking up a family. Moving a state border is similar to redistricting a utility provider," McCarter added.

On the Greater Idaho website, McCraw said that there are "two cultures" within Oregon and cited a gun control initiative as an example.

"If Oregon had let Harney County go when it voted for our measure, then a Harney County judge wouldn’t have blocked Oregon’s gun control initiative from going into effect statewide. Now his injunction might stand for a couple years while he decides the case. Harney County is ranchland, and Portland is not. It doesn’t make sense for these two cultures to be dictating policy to each other," McCaw said.


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