Greater Idaho will appear on Klamath Falls ballot
The movement expects three or four counties to vote on its initiatives this May
KLAMATH FALLS, Oregon (KMVT/KSVT) — A measure introduced by the grassroots organization Citizens for a Greater Idaho has gained more than enough signatures to appear on the May ballot in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
According to the group and the county clerk, more than 2,300 signatures were collected, which was 140% percent of the required number. The ballot measure, if approved by voters, would create a county board to evaluate the benefits to the county of moving the state border.
The group believes the excess signatures indicate enthusiasm in the county for the idea of moving the Oregon/Idaho border so that southern and eastern Oregon will be governed as a part of Idaho instead of Oregon. The county feels state officials failed to defend its interests in dealing with the federal government on how Klamath River water was distributed during the drought this year. Local volunteers such as Maria Bradbury and Allen Headley collected hundreds of signatures at rodeos, gun shows, the county fair, and at Casey’s restaurant, which remained open during the lockdown, according to the movement’s website greateridaho.org.
The goal of the movement is to convince state legislatures to move the Oregon-Idaho border to include rural eastern and southern Oregon into Idaho.
“When a county votes 74% in favor of this or the average (is) 62% to 63%, that has to send a big message to the Oregon leadership that there is a problem,” said Citizens for Greater Idaho president Mike McCarter.
The movement is waiting for the Douglas County Clerk to announce his count of their signatures for a measure for the Douglas County ballot.
The movement expects three or four counties to vote on its initiatives this May. So far, eight counties have voted for ballot measures submitted by the movement: two in November 2020, five in May 2021, and one in a special election last month.
Oregon and Idaho state legislators have said they will introduce legislation in the next session of each state legislature. McCarter claims both states stand to gain financially from the border shift, as rural Oregon’s resource-based economy is better suited to Idaho law than Oregon law. Eastern and southern Oregon are like Idaho in the percentage of their vote they give to each political party, he said.
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