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Greater Idaho gets second notice of win – but is it headed for a recount?

The Wallowa County (Oregon) Clerk informed Greater Idaho that their referendum is bound to pass – but could still face a recount.

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Greater Idaho banners in Wallowa County, Oregon two months before a referendum on the issue.

The Greater Idaho Movement received notice from the clerk of Wallowa County, Oregon, that their referendum is bound to pass. However, it could still go to a recount, so the Clerk cannot certify the referendum as definitely won.

Greater Idaho winning position

The Greater Idaho Movement dropped a thread yesterday, excitedly reporting what the Wallowa County Clerk had told them.

At time of posting, the vote total for Measure 32-007, according to the Oregon Secretary of State, stands at:

3,553 votes counted out of 6,376 active registered voters.

Yes: 1,752 votes. No: 1,744 votes.


Thus Greater Idaho comes out eight votes ahead. Their margin had been as slim as five votes earlier in the week, shortly after they declared victory last week. The Clerk explained to them that they are waiting for voters to report, presumably to the Clerk’s Office, to “cure” their ballots, because each is incomplete for some reason. Seven such ballots remain, too few to swing the vote to the Noes. However, as Greater Idaho admitted,

the referendum will go to a recount if, by June 7, 7 or fewer votes separate the Yeses from the Noes.

Greater Idaho exists to encourage Idaho to annex as many conservative counties as possible. Currently they have their sights on all of Oregon east of the Cascades. Twelve counties, presumably including Wallowa, have voted Yes so far; the movement has set its next sights on Crook County. Crook, Gilliam, and Umatilla Counties are the last three counties that would fall wholly within their Phase One dividing line. This line would divide Wasco and Deschutes Counties, together with Jefferson and Klamath Counties who have already voted Yes.

Skepticism and opposition

By the movement’s reckoning, sentiment in Wallowa County was one percent more favorable this time than in 2020. As they indicated in their thread, they have filed a campaign finance complaint with the Oregon Secretary of State. Apparently Western States Strategies, the political arm of the Western States Center, spent heavily in Wallowa County in opposition to the measure. But they did not report their expenditures, nor name themselves on flyers, which puts them in violation of the law.

Any such annexation as they propose, must have the consent of the Oregon and Idaho legislatures, and the Congress. Thus far the Idaho House passed a “Memorial” to discuss such an annexation with Oregon; it stalled in the Senate. An Oregon Senator introduced such a “Memorial” in that body, but no one will give it a hearing. After that, several Senators from east of the Cascades walked out of their chamber, denying a quorum. Greater Idaho pledged that rural Senators would keep doing that until Oregon consents to the annexation.


That aside, Greater Idaho points out that western Oregon subsidizes the road network and other infrastructure in the East. With annexation, Idaho would assume that expense. But under Idaho law, the annexed lands could develop more prosperous, taxpaying businesses and pay for their own roads. Annexation would also allow Idaho to eliminate the marijuana and “magic mushroom” head shops that are already creating law-enforcement issues along the Oregon-Idaho border.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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