5 Rural Oregon Counties Vote To Consider Joining Idaho To Escape Blue-State Rule
Oregon Governor Kate Brown Interview Kate Brown, governor of Oregon, speaks during an interview in Portland, Oregon, U.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Brown, a Democrat, joined the state House of Representatives in 1991, was later elected to the Senate and served as secretary of state since 2009, before taking over as governor in February. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A cluster of five counties in rural Oregon voted Tuesday to consider seceding from the state and joining Republican-controlled Idaho.

Voters in Malheur, Sherman, Grant, Baker, and Lake Counties approved measures demanding county officials move forward with constituent demand to move the state’s borders in an attempt to escape blue-state rule. Last year, Jefferson and Union Counties approved similar measures.

Sherman, Jefferson, and Lake Counties lie along the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains, while Union, Baker, Grant, and Malheur Counties are farther east. Malheur and Baker Counties border Idaho.

Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho supports the efforts, which is an organization that hopes for Idaho to encompass the conservative parts of Oregon and northern California.

“This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon,” the organization’s lead petitioner 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.”

As The Hill reported:

Sherman County’s ballot initiative required county commissioners to promote realigning the borders. The other four counties require commissioners to meet a few times a year to discuss the prospects of moving state lines.

Despite the will of the counties’ voters, any decision to change state borders would have to be approved by both state legislatures as well as the U.S. Congress. The only other state lines Congress have approved changing were Kentucky, which took land from Virginia in 1792; Maine, which took portions of Massachusetts in 1820; and West Virginia, which was annexed from portions of Virginia by the Union during the Civil War in 1863.

Oregon, more than half of whose residents live in the liberal Portland area, has repeatedly made headlines for backlash against the leadership of Democratic Oregon Governor Kate Brown during the pandemic. Most recently, many Oregonians bristled at the idea of making the state’s mask mandates permanent. As The Daily Wire reported:

Thousands of Oregonians are ripping a proposal to make the state’s mask mandate permanent, flooding the state government with “openly hostile” comments on the idea.

Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s health department has proposed a permanent masking rule as the current regulations are set to expire next month. The proposal has received a record number of public comments — five times more comments than the previous record holder, according to the Washington Examiner.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division, led by administrator Michael Wood, received 5,000 comments on the proposed rule before the public comment period ended.

“The majority of comments were simply hostile to the entire notion of COVID-19 restrictions,” Wood said. “The vast majority of comments were in the context of, ‘You never needed to do anything.’”

Related: Oregon Department Of Education Drops $50,000 On Nikole Hannah-Jones ‘1619 Project’ Webinars

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