'Greater Idaho' Closer to Becoming Reality? Five Oregon Counties to Vote on Leaving State

Nick Kangadis | February 25, 2021
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A little over a year ago, I reported on a story in which large portions of Oregon and California were talking about wanting to leave their respective states because of the “shackles of living in a blue state” and creating a larger version of Idaho called, “Greater Idaho.” 

Fast forward a little over a year to the day of that first story, a new report is coming out that five Oregon counties are going to be putting the idea mentioned above to a vote.

According to The Washington Times:

Move Oregon’s Border, also known as Greater Idaho, confirmed Tuesday that the initiative to move swaths of largely rural eastern and southern Oregon into Idaho qualified for the May 18 special election ballot in five counties: Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman.

In Baker County, organizers far exceeded the 496 signatures required by submitting 746, with the clerk reporting that 630 were accepted. The county population is about 16,000[…]

[Move Oregon’s Border President Mike McCarter] cited the impact of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s novel coronavirus restrictions; ongoing Antifa unrest in Portland; a state task force’s unsuccessful effort to prioritize “Black, Indigenous and people of color” for novel coronavirus vaccines, and what he described as the state legislature’s bias in favor of Portland over rural communities.

The original idea to create “Greater Idaho” included multiple Northern California counties. The counties were upset large cities, like San Francisco and Los Angeles, essentially dictated how the rest of a very large state is allowed to live their lives. 

Republicans and Independents wanting to break away from Democrat-controlled cities and states has been a topic of conversation for years.

In 2019, a group in Illinois called on Cook County — the county that houses the city of Chicago — to become its own separate state from the rest of the large state because people were upset that Chicago dictated life for the rest of Illinoisans.

Members of a group called “New California” wanted the state of California, which they described as “ungovernable” in early 2018, to be separated between the large majority of the state — “including many rural counties,” as reported by USA Today — and the coastal urban areas which have made life difficult for those that don’t want to live under progressive rule.

Other states like Texas have seen efforts to secede over the years fall by the wayside. But, the Oregon counties mentioned above are actually planning on putting it to a vote.

"Divisions in Oregon are getting dangerous, so we see the relocation of the border as a way to keep the peace. It’s not divisive,” McCarter said. “Oregon and Idaho are already divided by a state line. The problem is that the location of the state line was decided 161 years ago and is now outdated. Its current location doesn’t match the cultural divide in Oregon."

For coverage from Boise, Idaho TV station, KTVB, watch below: