Citizens for Greater Idaho President Mike McCarter brought a box filled with sheets containing 3,689 signatures to the elections office at the Douglas County Courthouse Tuesday.

If at least 2,955 of them are valid — signed by county residents who are registered to vote — then Douglas County voters will be asked to vote in May on whether they want to allow county officers to advocate for Idaho legislation that could move the state’s borders.

Ultimately, Citizens for Greater Idaho’s goal is to see the border of Idaho moved to include all of rural Eastern and Southwestern Oregon.

A small group of supporters gathered in front of the courthouse Tuesday to hear from McCarter before he brought the signatures.

Jim Miller of Rice Valley, however, was not a fan. He asked McCarter why he wanted to leave Oregon.

McCarter said those who wanted the border moved believe rural representatives are being ignored in Salem. Small business taxes would be lower in Idaho, too, he said.

But Miller said Idaho has “always been known as a hotbed for militant action.”

“Oregon used to be anti-Black and it seems to me that sometimes you’re wanting to go back to that,” he said.

McCarter denied the assertion.

“Move Oregon’s Border and Greater Idaho is colorblind, period,” he said.

Several supporters in the audience then peppered Miller with questions. Was he a socialist? Did he believe in the Second Amendment?

While Miller was outnumbered on Tuesday, and his reasons may have been unique, many Douglas County residents have previously indicated reluctance to ditch Oregon for Idaho.

The county’s voters rejected a similar measure in 2020 by a margin of 57% to 43%. The 2020 measure was an advisory question referred to the ballot by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

No Southwestern Oregon counties have so far approved the idea.

The idea has gained better traction in Eastern Oregon, where five counties voted in May to support moving the border and joining Idaho.

McCarter thinks the Douglas County vote will go differently this time.

“Back then in November 2020, we were a brand new movement. The word hadn’t gotten out,” he said.

The group didn’t have the money it needed to pay for advertising, he said.

Now, he said, contributions are coming in. They’re not from corporations or political groups, he said, just from ordinary people. He said he even opened a check last night from a contributor in Florida.

“I think there’s a hope that if we get to where we’re achieving some of this that other states can do it too,” he said.

He also believes there’s a political reason it could go differently this time.

“The difference now is that the state leadership has done a few more things that bothered a lot of rural Oregonians,” he said.

Things like vaccine and mask mandates, he said, coupled with small business taxes he said are too high.

Douglas County Clerk Dan Loomis said this was the first countywide measure intended for the May 2022 ballot for which signatures have been submitted.

Even if Douglas County votes in favor of the new measure in May, the vote on its own wouldn’t mean they were seceding from the state.

Actually moving state borders requires approval of the legislatures of both states and of Congress.

McCarter said the group had also collected signatures for a Klamath County measure and planned to turn those in at the Klamath County Courthouse on Thursday.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(16) comments

NJ

“Move Oregon’s Border and Greater Idaho is colorblind, period,” he [McCarter] said. Statistics on just how colorblind Idaho is: "Asian: 1.41% Native American: 1.35% Black or African American: 0.69%" Sure McCarter, you roll with that statement. It's seems so very easy to lie when one believes in an irrational cause.

NJ

For all the effort, this isn't going anywhere. "To change a boundary between two existing states, state governments of the two states would have to both agree, probably by each passing suitable legislation, and then ask Congress to make it official. Sometimes there are disputes between two states when they both claim the same land."

Sonja

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Minimum wage in Idaho is a whooping $7.50. And then there is a sales tax of 6%. There are a lot of low-wage workers in this county. That would be a lot of people lining up for government assistance. Not by choice, but because it is impossible making a living like that. Doesn't take a whole lot of advanced math to figure that out. Do the math, people!

Really?

Another useless idea from a group of folks who have nothing better to do then stir up issues. Having moved from Idaho to Oregon I can say “be careful what you are asking for”. Sad news that OR will be losing Defazio because that Dancing With The Stars bozo will most likely try again and that will be a travesty. Has anyone noticed that a great majority of Republicans don’t care about the “greater good of the people” but only want to cause chaos?

melrosereader

Skarlatos is a fraud and a grifter. He should get a job. But what skill does he have that would qualify him for anything more than a minimum wage job?

mynamehere

If you want to live in Idaho...MOVE!

melrosereader

The Idaho (ID) state sales tax rate is currently 6%. Depending on local municipalities, the total tax rate can be as high as 9%.

goodnews

Thank you Mike for helping me realize something new about myself. After reading this article, I found that I can roll my eyes completely to the back of my head and back. T's & P's on your big project!!! The amount of energy you are putting into this is really something. Congrats?

Momos

It would cost billions and billions of tax dollars for just the transfer of assets like prisons and roads, etc. Is Idaho paying that? The cost to every business, large and small, would be astronomical. New tax codes, business filings, logistics, dealing with Idaho's sales tax, etc. Would the county governments receive less money as part of Idaho?

For once, I'd like to see reporters ask them about the cost of this stupid idea. And the reality that congress as a whole would never, ever be interested, let alone agree. So far, reporters just nod along and don't even know what to ask.

Money. The most important aspect of this foolish idea, and no one wants to talk about it. Especially the supporters.

Mike

[thumbup]

melrosereader

Just think! If Douglas County became part of Idaho, there's half a chance their governor would be Ammon Bundy.

Truck 1312

Just a dumb waste of time and effort. Typical Republican silliness

dejadoodoo

I rather like the mid-California coast myself -- can't we just make it part of Oregon?

Seems to me that this entire proposal is both idiotic and absurd, but that's probably because I foolishly accept most realities.

CitizenJoe

I am all in favor of Republicans donating all the money that they can to this cause.

George Weston

I, and others have stated before, if you want to be part of Idaho, then move there. The rest of us will be glad to see you go.

Citizen495

[thumbup]

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