Klamath County receives 2897 signatures to put Greater Idaho on the ballot

Klamath County receives 2897 signatures to put Greater Idaho on the ballot

The Greater Idaho movement submitted a petition to force a ballot initiative onto the May 2022 Klamath County ballot today at the Klamath County Courthouse.  Mike McCarter, the leader of the movement, submitted 2897 signatures although only 1696 valid signatures are required. 

The large number of excess signatures indicates 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 that 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. Hundreds of signatures were collected at rodeos, gun shows, the county fair, and at Casey’s restaurant, which remained open during the lock down.

The ballot initiative submitted today, if approved by voters, would create a county board to evaluate the benefits to the county of moving the state border. 

Earlier, on Tuesday, McCarter submitted signatures to put a related ballot initiative on the Douglas County May 2022 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.