When the Greater Idaho Move Oregon’s Border group filed a petition for a ballot initiative with Malheur County in June of 2020, they automatically got two years to circulate petitions to gather signatures to see if they could get their measure on the ballot. But it only took about a half a year for them to get the needed 539 signatures.
According to Malheur County Clerk Gayle Trotter, the group had more than enough signatures by the end of January. They obtained 563 altogether, she said, which they turned in on Jan. 26.
As such, it got assigned a measure number (Measure 23-64), and will be on the ballot for voters to consider during the Special District Election on May 18.
It’s noteworthy that voters won’t be considering whether to make Malheur County part of Idaho, but whether Malheur County Court should talk about that matter three times per year (January, May and September) to discuss “how to promote the interests of Malheur County in any negotiations regarding the relocation of the Oregon-Idaho border.”
The measure includes civil penalties for anyone “who willfully prohibits, cancels or hinders any of the prescribed meetings of the County Court.”
Another petition circulating for signatures has not yet been turned in, and that is for allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, countywide. The chief petitioners are Cora Voigt and Dan Shy, according to Trotter.
According to a news release from Move Oregon Border president Mike McCarter on Sunday, five counties will be considering the ballot initiatives. Other counties that will see the initiative on ballots include Grant and Sherman (which, like Malheur County have already awarded measure numbers); and Baker and Lake counties, which are awaiting verification of the 141% of required signatures delivered to those respective county clerks.
Move Oregon’s Border is aiming to collect signatures in seven other counties, including Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Harney, Morrow and Umatilla counties.
“Oregon is a powder keg because counties that belong in a red-state like Idaho are ruled by Portlanders,” says McCarter.
Furthermore, he claims COVID relief funds were allocated more to urban Oregon than rural counterparts and alleges that political divisions in Oregon are “getting dangerous, so we see the relocation of the border as a way to keep the peace.”
Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, previously said residents of Oregon advocating for this move “are frustrated,” and “they do not feel that the State of Oregon hears them or has their best interest at heart” on a vast majority of items, including driver licenses for undocumented residents, cap and trade policies and more.