Four counties in Oregon voted on the idea of moving the Oregon/Idaho state border to allow Oregon
counties to become a part of a greater Idaho. County measures passed in Union County and Jefferson
County, but only had 49.5% of the vote in Wallowa County as of midnight. The measures require county
commissioners to consider the idea of moving the border.
In Douglas County, a non-binding ballot question about the topic was placed on the ballot by county
commissioners as allowed by Oregon law, but it only has 43% of the vote as of 3 AM.
In Douglas County, misperceptions that the campaign to collect signatures had ended in failure led to the
belief that putting a question about the idea on the ballot was somehow anti-democratic. This false belief
increased opposition to the measure. In actuality, the commissioners’ decision to put it on the ballot was
only an acknowledgement that the campaign still had 18 more months to collect 30 more signatures, so
a question about the idea would certainly appear on the ballot by May 2021 anyway. Although Move
Oregon’s Border missed the deadline for the November 2020 election, a few days later it had met the
deadline for the following election.
Oregon allows 24 months to collect signatures for a ballot initiative, and Move Oregon’s Border collected
the required number in Douglas County within 6 months despite the pandemic. It collected the required
number in Union County in 3 months, and Wallowa and Jefferson counties in 2 months.
Move Oregon’s Border has not yet announced whether it will submit the Douglas County signatures for
the May 2021 election or for a later election.
Mike McCarter, president of Move Oregon’s Border said, “The idea of joining Idaho is new to Oregon
voters and they need more time to learn that Idaho taxes are lower, even with all taxes considered, and
that Idaho law respects traditional values in many ways that Oregon law does not.”
“The friction between conservatives and the Left in Oregon and California will continue to increase as
their expectations diverge, so moving the border will eventually be seen as the necessary, peaceful
solution to this problem. The reaction of Oregon government to the execution of Trump supporter ‘Jay’
Danielson in Portland shows that they will not protect people who are not on their leftist team. This is
not a sustainable situation.”
“I think the wins in Union and Jefferson counties justify some effort on the part of the government of
Idaho to quantify the pros and cons of moving the border so that we can improve the quality of the debate
on this issue. Rural Oregon counties would have have a higher income per person than Idaho does, so our
counties would be a benefit to Idaho’s state budget. Yet rural Oregon has a lower income per person than
Oregon, so it is a drain on Oregon’s budget. Another benefit for the Oregon Legislature would be that they
could get things done and maintain their quorum and their super-majority. Rural Oregon votes almost
exactly the same as Idaho does, so there should be no concerns in Idaho.”
“State legislators from both states have agreed to attend our meeting later this month to plan next steps
in state government,” McCarter said.
Move Oregon’s Border continues to collect signatures for the May 2021 local elections in 11 counties
where county clerks approved signature collection. The deadline is February 17.
Move Oregon’s Border announced that it had lost a court case in Crook County, where a state judge ruled
that the form of the ballot initiative proposed for that county’s ballot was “not legislative.” However, a
state judge in Lake County is still considering allowing Move Oregon’s Border to collect signatures for a
similar county initiative in Lake County.
When asked why his followers haven’t moved to Idaho, McCarter said “We love our communities. We’re
tied into them. It’s just the state government that we hate.”
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