On Tuesday, five counties in the state of Oregon voted to consider a motion to secede from the state and join neighboring Idaho instead.
Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman counties were the latest to join a growing movement to secede from Oregon, which conservative residents decry as increasingly liberal, for the more conservative Idaho. Oregon has gone blue in every presidential election since 1988.
The developments were the most recent culmination of the group Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho's efforts to join rural Oregon counties, as well as northern California counties, to Idaho.
Head petitioner for the initiative, Mike McCarter, said of the news:
"This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon. 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."
The five counties join Jefferson and Union Counties—which approved their own secession propositions in 2020—as part of the effort. All seven counties voted heavily for former President Donald Trump, and were likely persuaded by his rhetoric regarding uprisings against racist police brutality in Portland last year.
But the initiatives still face a complicated process that would require approval from both Idaho's and Oregon's state legislatures, as well as the United States Congress, which is currently majority Democrat.
People are confused and concerned by the effort.
Some wondered why concerned citizens don't move to Idaho instead.
The effort is unlikely to be seen to completion, but the votes in favor to join Idaho are no small potatoes.