Their own private Idaho: Oregon county looks to join movement

The Donlon Report

BURNS, Ore. (NewsNation Now) — The president of Citizens for Greater Idaho says the movement is picking up steam as another rural, conservative county in Oregon expressed interest in becoming part of Idaho.

“More and more people who have been sitting on the sidelines are starting to jump in and to support the issue,” Mike McCarter said on “The Donlon Report.”

The OregonianLive reports that voters in Harney County on Tuesday approved a ballot measure that requires local officials to hold meetings about moving the county into Idaho. The measure passed with more than 63% of the vote. The unofficial results were: 1,567 for and 917 against.

Harney became the eighth of Oregon’s 36 counties to vote for considering adjusting Oregon’s border to put much of rural eastern and southern Oregon in Idaho.

“It shows that you have a problem,” McCarter said. “Oregon leadership in rural Oregon, you can choose either to deal with it, or ignore it like you are now.”

These ballot initiatives are nonbinding; the point of them, McCarter says, is to force Idaho’s and Oregon’s legislatures to take up the issue, which is highly unlikely.

“I don’t know if it’s gonna sway them, but the goal is to get them to talk about it, at least to bring the subject up,” McCarter said.

If Idaho and Oregon were to negotiate a border adjustment, the U.S. Congress would have to sign off on it.

The other counties that have voted for a Move Oregon’s Border-backed initiative in the last two years: Baker, Grant, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Sherman and Union. Two small counties have voted against the border-moving idea.

Douglas and Klamath counties likely will be next to vote.

“Our goal is to continue on with the counties and then get this talked about in the Oregon legislature and the Idaho legislature because that’s where the decision-makers are,” McCarter said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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