DemDaily: Secession In The States!

May 21, 2021

Five rural counties in Oregon voted this week to secede from the liberal leanings of the Beaver State and merge with its more ideologically conservative neighbor, Idaho.

Voters in Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman counties approved ballot measures Tuesday, joining Jefferson and Union counties that had already voted in favor of the idea. All seven counties voted heavily for former President Donald Trump.

Mike McCarter, President of Citizens for Greater Idaho, which is leading the campaign, said, "This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon. 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...Idaho would have the satisfaction of freeing 1.2 million people from blue state law."

Idaho is Trump Country (Fox)

The sentiment reflects the deepening divisions between the state's increasingly Democratic urban population in the west and Republicans expanding majorities in the rural eastern parts of the state.

In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden won Oregon with over 56% of the vote, while Idaho went to Trump with 64%.

While the initiative requires local officials to consider a plan to redraw the border, it faces larger obstacles for ultimate passage.

Legislators in Oregon and Idaho would have to enact bills to redefine the states' boundaries and redistrict their legislatures.

If the legislation survived gubernatorial veto, it would still need to be approved by Congress.

A map of Idaho's expanded boundaries proposed by Citizens for Greater Idaho

The last time Congress approved a change in state lines was in 1863 when West Virginia was admitted to the Union during the Civil War.

However, McCarter, a 74-year-old former firearms instructor from La Pine, Oregon, is undeterred, with plans already in place for "Phase 2" - adding five conservative-leaning counties in Northern California to Idaho.

A series of proposals to divide or split up California over the last decade have been unsuccessful in reaching the ballot box.

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Sources: Washington Post, NPR, The Hill

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