21st century secession: This states residents want out to join another state

Kusum Tewari


A group wants a ballot measure to remove at least 19 counties from Oregon.

The political divide in Oregon has gotten so severe that some conservative residents are fighting to secede and join Idaho.

The group known as “Greater Idaho” is seeking to create a ballot proposal in Oregon that would secede 19 counties located in the east and merge them with its neighbors.

Mike McCarter, one of the petitioners, said in a Facebook post that he and his neighbors are unhappy with the state legislature’s work that threatens “our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values.”

“We tried voting those legislators out but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored. This is our last resort,” he said.

Greater Idaho says that two counties, Josephine and Douglas, have so far accepted the ballot proposal. The group is also seeking to add rural areas in California to the new state boundaries.

Over the last couple of years, there have been campaigns by some Californians and Oregon residents to secede and form the State of Jefferson, but those efforts failed. Priscilla Southwell, a professor of political science at the University of Oregon, said Greater Idaho’s measure, will likely end up as a symbolic move.

“I think seceding will be unlikely that it will get enough signatures let alone pass,” she said.

Southwell noted that Oregon may gain an additional seat in Congress following the next Census because of the state’s population increase. The residents who are seeking secession may have a chance to vote for someone who represents their interests, according to Southwell.

“I would be an easier option,” she said.

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