The number of valid signatures submitted by the Greater Idaho movement is enough to earn a position on the May 2022 ballot, according to today’s count by Klamath County Clerk Rochelle Long. She assigned the county measure the number 18-121 for the May 2022 election. By her count, the movement collected 2371 valid signatures, 140% of the required number.
The excess signatures indicate enthusiasm in the county for the idea of moving the Oregon/Idaho border so that southern and eastern Oregon will be governed as a part of Idaho instead of Oregon. The county feels that state officials failed to defend its interests in dealing with the federal government on how Klamath River water was distributed during the drought this year. Local volunteers such as Maria Bradbury and Allen Headley collected hundreds of signatures at rodeos, gun shows, the county fair, and at Casey’s restaurant, which remained open during the lock down, according to the movement’s website greateridaho.org.
The ballot measure, if approved by voters, would create a county board to evaluate benefits to the county of moving the state border.
The movement is waiting for the Douglas County Clerk to announce his count of their signatures for a their measure for the Douglas County ballot.
The movement expects three or four counties to vote on its initiatives this May. So far, eight counties have voted for ballot measures submitted by the movement: two in November 2020, five in May 2021, and one in a special election last month.
Oregon and Idaho state legislators have said they will introduce legislation in the next session of each state legislature. Mike McCarter, the leader of the Greater Idaho movement, claims both states stand to gain financially from the border shift, as rural Oregon’s resource-based economy is better suited to Idaho law than Oregon law. Eastern and southern Oregon are like Idaho in the percentage of their vote they give to each political party, he said.
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