Voters in five Oregon counties delivered big wins for the Greater Idaho movement Tuesday. All five counties—Malheur, Sherman, Grant, Baker, and Lake—approved measures to at least consider joining Idaho, the more conservative state to the east of them, the Hill reports. All five of the mostly rural counties voted for Donald Trump in 2020, unlike Oregon as a whole. Two other Oregon counties, Jefferson and Union, voted last year for county officials to promote joining Idaho. Supporters of the Greater Idaho plan want up to 22 Oregon counties to join Idaho, along with conservative counties in eastern Washington and northern California.
"This election proves that rural Oregon wants out of Oregon,” Mike McCarter, president of Move Oregon's Borders for a Greater Idaho, said in a statement, per the Oregonian. "If Oregon really believes in liberal values such as self-determination, the Legislature won’t hold our counties captive against our will." The group says the fact that turnout was twice as high in counties where the issue was on the ballot shows that rural Oregonians are passionate about the proposal. But before any Oregon counties can actually join Idaho, the move will have to be approved by the legislatures of both states, along with Congress. (Read more Idaho stories.)