Greater Idaho will be on the May ballot in Douglas County.
Douglas County Clerk Dan Loomis said Wednesday morning that the county has verified that enough of the signatures Chief Petitioner Mike McCarter turned in two weeks ago are valid. Greater Idaho had collected at least 3,003 valid signatures, he said.
The Greater Idaho question is the first local measure to qualify for the ballot. It will be labeled Measure 10-185.
If voters were to approve it, the measure would change an ordinance to allow county officials to advocate for legislation to move the Oregon and Idaho border.
Greater Idaho supporters hope ultimately to shift the border so that eastern and southwestern Oregon become part of Idaho. Actually moving that border would require approval from both states’ legislatures and from Congress.
In the meantime, the movement is working on gathering support from counties that want to be included in the shift.
Similar measures have won approval in several eastern Oregon counties. In all, eight counties have voted in favor of Greater Idaho ballot measures.
Here in Douglas County, however, a similar 2020 measure on the Idaho border question was rejected by voters by a margin of 57% to 43%.
“If southwestern Oregon wants to be included in this border relocation, then Douglas County needs to prove it with their vote. Otherwise, state legislatures might settle for just eastern Oregon,” McCarter said in a press release.
The 2020 measure was an advisory question referred to the ballot by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.
McCarter said he believes things could go differently this time around in Douglas County.
“We hardly spent anything on that campaign, and there was nothing in the voter pamphlet, so voters didn’t even know what they were voting on in 2020,” McCarter said.
Greater Idaho will also have an initiative on the ballot in Klamath County in May. McCarter said he hopes supporters will connect the movement with major donors in both counties.