5 Oregon counties vote in favor of merger with Idaho

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Five eastern Oregon counties voted Tuesday in support of considering becoming part of Idaho.

Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman counties join Union and Jefferson, which voted last year to require county officials to study or promote joining Idaho, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The grassroots group Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho wants to move Oregon’s mostly rural eastern and southern counties — and a few northern California counties — into Idaho, believing they’d be better served in Idaho’s more conservative political environment.

The group hopes political pressure from county initiative votes will lead to negotiations between Oregon and Idaho to move the border, putting up to 22 of Oregon’s 36 counties in Idaho.

The chances of those counties joining Idaho are slim as it would require approval from both Oregon and Idaho legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

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