The Greater Idaho movement is gaining momentum. A total of 12 of Oregon's 36 counties said they were interested in becoming part of Idaho. The initiative began in 2019. That year, a website was created proposing that some conservative areas of The Beaver State join The Gem State, with whom they share ideological values.
What seemed like an unfeasible proposal soon began to gain momentum. Gradually, 15 of the 36 counties began voting to see if citizens supported the idea. Twelve counties have already voted, and in all of them, the proposal to be part of Idaho has received majority support.
The latest to explore this initiative was Wallowa County. They voted in May, and preliminary results were released on Tuesday. Not at all surprisingly, as was the case with the previous 11 counties, Wallowa residents made it clear that they are interested in leaving Oregon and becoming Idahoans.
However, the decision has not yet been made. Moving the border is not as easy as it seems, and Wallowa's election results require its commissioners to debate the possible merger with The Gem State. In addition, both the state Senate and House of Representatives must ratify the proposal.
This last step is the most complicated. While Republicans approve the initiative, Democrats are strongly opposed to it. One such example is Senator Melissa Wintrow. She assured Fox News Digital in March that she was "very pleased" that the Greater Idaho movement had "no chance" of coming to fruition:
I'm very pleased this measure has virtually no chance of advancing into reality. It would be bad for all involved and bad for the country, and I am opposed to it at all levels.
On the other side are the Republicans. They do favor making willing Oregon counties part of Idaho. State Rep. Judy Boyle is one of them. According to her statements to Fox News, she understands the inhabitants who are requesting this change:
Yes, I am supportive of the Greater Idaho idea. I have lived along the Oregon border my entire life, so have many east Oregon friends. They have been quite frustrated with the liberal I-5 western Oregon corridor running their state and completely ignoring their values and needs. They have finally come down to asking the voters, county by county, if they want to join Idaho. Currently, 11 counties have said YES!