ROSERBURG, Ore. - The effort to move Oregon's borders so the state's more rural counties become part of the state of Idaho is gathering signatures on petitions in 13 counties.
Petitions in another 2 counties will be circulating soon, said Mike McCarter with Move Oregon’s Border For a Greater Idaho.
“Despite the lockdown, you can still download and print a petition from www.GreaterIdaho.org or pick one up at an essential business that has them," he said.
McCarter said county clerks in 15 of Oregon's 36 counties have approved petitions for signature gathering.
Those counties have a combined population of 710,000 people.
McCarter said petitioners have until August 5 to submit signatures.
"The movement is not filing a statewide petition in 2020, so only voters of certain counties may sign one of the movement’s petitions," according to a Move Oregon's Border press release.
McCarter voiced criticism of Oregon's governor mobilizing the National Guard to assist the Portland Police Bureau this week, as well as the state's COVID-19 response.
“The governor’s decision to mobilize 50 unarmed National Guard is inadequate to the task. Idaho enforces the rule of law, defends its people, and doesn't foster a culture of criminality, joblessness and homelessness," he said.
The government of Oregon has lost the confidence of the people of rural Oregonian counties. Replacing the governor wouldn’t be enough to fix the problem because we don’t trust northwestern Oregon’s voters. Our counties don’t want to be held captive by a state government that ignores our security, our local economy, our churches’ right to assemble, and even our voter registration. The Idaho Supreme Court would not have invalidated the honorable Baker County Judge Matt Shirtcliff’s injunction. And it is unacceptable to us that the economic costs of the state government’s choice to lock down our state have hurt the whole state, yet the state government has chosen to direct all of the federal stimulus funds to the Portland area. Idaho’s state legislature has been 80% Republican for the last two decades. Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican for governor in 38 years. We need to move the border. Help us put this on the ballot.
“If you love your county but you are sick of your state government, then help us move the state border," he added. "Idaho’s governance fits our needs and our values better.”