PORTLAND, Oregon — Five eastern Oregon counties voted Tuesday in support of considering becoming part of Idaho.
Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman counties join Union and Jefferson, which voted last year to require county officials to study or promote joining Idaho, the Oregonian reported.
The grassroots group Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho wants to move Oregon’s mostly rural eastern and southern counties into Idaho, believing they’d be better served in the neighboring state’s more conservative political environment.
That would leave a small portion of Oregon, including Portland, Salem, Eugene and Bend.
Phase 2 of the plan would bring in parts of southeast Washington and northeast California. The California counties under consideration, the group says, are Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Modoc, Lassen, part or all of Plumas, and parts of Butte and perhaps Sierra.
The California area includes Redding, which would become Idaho’s fourth-largest city.
The group hopes political pressure from county initiative votes will lead to negotiations between Oregon and Idaho to move the border.
The chances of those counties joining Idaho are slim as it would require approval from both Oregon and Idaho legislatures and the U.S. Congress.
Source: Orange County Register