Fluoride supporters & opponents make last-minute push for votes - KPTV - FOX 12

Fluoride supporters, opponents make last-minute push for votes

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

By Tuesday night, Portland voters should be closer to knowing what kind of water will be coming out of the tap. They have to decide between fluoride or no fluoride.

Supporters and opponents of a measure that would add fluoride to Portland's water supply made phone calls and canvassed local neighborhoods Monday night in an effort to make sure voters get their ballots turned in on time. The deadline is 8 p.m. Tuesday. 

Representatives from both sides of the hotly contested issue told FOX 12 that they think the final vote tally will be close.

LINK: Ballot drop sites

"I think folks are ready for the election to be over," said Evyn Mitchell, campaign manager for Healthy Smiles, Healthy Portland. "But we're hearing a lot of positive information, positive things from 'Yes' voters."

"I'm optimistic. We have a lot of volunteers," said Kellie Barnes, volunteer for Clean Water Portland. "When people do this research, they realize there are better alternatives. They realize there's a reasonable basis of concern in the emerging science. And we want clean water."

As of Monday afternoon, voter turnout sat at just under 26 percent in Multnomah County, where about 115,000 ballots have been returned. 

FOX 12 Political Analyst Tim Hibbitts said those numbers will likely jump substantially on Tuesday, but he'll be surprised if turnout breaks 40 percent.

He believes fluoride opponents will have a slight advantage in the end, he said.

"Let's see what the returns come in tomorrow," Hibbitts said. "And I would not dismiss a surprise. But to me... it would be a substantial surprise if the 'yes' side won."

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