A secessionist movement in eastern Oregon fed up with the state's liberal policies gained more steam after Tuesday's midterm elections.
Two Oregon counties, Morrow and Wheeler, voted to ask the Legislature to redraw the state's border and let them join conservative Idaho.
Greater Idaho is behind the drive to convince state legislatures to move the Oregon/Idaho border to make conservative counties of Oregon into counties of Idaho. The group is also advocating for portions of southeastern Washington and northeastern California to join Idaho, which it said aligns more with the region's conservative values.
After Tuesday, 11 of 15 eastern Oregon counties have voted to join Idaho. The group said Morrow County approved the measure with 60% of the vote and Wheeler with 58%.
Clerks in Crook and Gilliam counties in Oregon have refused to allow Greater Idaho to gather signatures, the organization said. County commissioners in Crook, Gilliam and Umatilla counties have not yet agreed to put an advisory question regarding the issue on the ballot.
The movement said it seeks to pass a resolution in the next sessions of both state legislatures that would let leaders from the states talk about redrawing the border.
"We call on the [Oregon] Legislature to let each half of the state go their separate ways in peace," said Mike McCarter, Greater Idaho's leader, in a statement on the group's website.
It's extremely difficult for counties from one state to join another. Both state legislatures and Congress would have to approve of the redrawn borders, according to Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.
"The Constitution is clear: No state may be divided without the permission of that state," Mark Graber, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Maryland, told WUSA-TV in October 2021, when three western Maryland counties sought to be part of West Virginia.
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