People in two counties in rural Oregon voted to push their lawmakers to consider moving their communities into Idaho, which they say is more representative of their political views. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the chances of Jefferson and Union counties joining Idaho are slim as it would require votes by both Oregon and Idaho legislatures and the U.S. Congress. But that’s not necessarily the goal, at least not yet. Similar measures failed in Wallowa and Douglas counties. But the votes in Union and Jefferson counties means local lawmakers must start having twice-a-year conversations with Idaho officials. The Democratic-dominated state Legislature doesn’t seem likely to take up the cause anytime soon.
Mike McCarter, a retired plant nursery worker and firearms instructor from La Pine who led the petition drive to get on the ballot, thinks the Nov. 3 vote was the first victory in a long process: He’s hoping to push similar ballot measures in 11 other counties as soon as next year. His vision is to have 22 of Oregon’s 36 counties become part of a new “Greater Idaho,” along with some parts of Northern California. (AP)