Five Oregon counties approved measures Tuesday to secede and join Idaho, despite the chances of it actually becoming a reality.
Voters in Lake, Grant, Baker, Sherman and Malheur counties approved measures requiring county officials to take steps to secede and move the Idaho border further west in order to encompass the counties, according to The Hill. Two other counties, Jefferson and Union, voted in favor of the measure back in November.
In Baker County 3,064 voters supported the measure while 2,307 opposed it, according to the Baker City Herald. The measure would require county commissioners to meet three times a year to discuss the secession. Sherman County was the only county that forces the county commissioners to promote “the interests of the County in the relocation of Idaho state borders,” while the other counties actually require commissioners to meet, according the Greater Idaho Project, which is spearheading the efforts to secede
Lake County had the highest support, with 74% of voters voting in favor of the measure, according to data from the Secretary of State’s office. Sherman and Grant counties saw 62% of voters in each county approve the measure. The measure had an average approval rating across all five counties of 62%, according to the Greater Idaho Project.
The voters agree that these counties belong in Idaho https://t.co/AhMdK4ocTF
— Citizens for Greater Idaho (@GreaterIdaho) May 19, 2021
“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon,” president of Citizens for Greater Idaho Mike McCarter said in a statement. “If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will. 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.” (RELATED: South Carolina Reps Prepared To Secede Over Second Amendment Rights)
Counties in the northeast, southeast and southwest parts of Oregon voted in large part for former President Donald Trump during the previous election but were unable to surpass the support President Joe Biden received in more northwestern cities, according to Forbes.
Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little told Fox News in February voters want out of Oregon because “they’re looking at Idaho fondly because of our regulatory atmosphere, our values. It doesn’t surprise me one bit.”
Despite the support among voters, in order to move the state border both legislatures in Oregon and Idaho would have to approve the measure, as would the U.S. Congress.
Congress approved changes to state lines only three times: creating Kentucky in 1792 by taking land from Virginia; creating Maine from land out of Massachusetts in 1820 and during the Civil War when West Virginia counties who sided with the Union seceded from Virginia confederate counties.
In 2017 North and South Carolina did shift their border slightly after a dispute, according to ABC 7 NY.