Elections | Oregon

Portland Voters Rejecting Fluoride, Beaverton School Levy Ahead

OPB | May 21, 2013 8:09 p.m. | Updated: May 22, 2013 12:10 p.m. | Portland

Multnomah County Elections | Oregon Secretary of State | Washington County Elections |Lane County Elections


With more than half of the ballots counted, intial results showed Portland’s fluoride issue (26-151) losing 60 to 40 percent Tuesday night, while the Beaverton school levy appeared to be passing with 54 percent “yes” to 46 percent “no” in early returns.

It was cool, clear sax music and tap dancing at the Clean Water Portland party as election results came in Tuesday night.

It was cool, clear sax music and tap dancing at the Clean Water Portland party as election results came in Tuesday night.

Michael Clapp / OPB

Voters in Portland twice rejected fluoridation before approving it in 1978. That plan was overturned two years later, before any fluoride was ever added to the water.

The City Council voted last year to add fluoride to the water supply that serves about 900,000 people. But opponents quickly gathered enough signatures to force a vote on the subject.

Just after 9 p.m., the “no” votes reached 60.69 percent and the “yes” votes had fallen to 39.31 percent.

Mayor Charlie Hales, a fluoridation supporter, didn’t wait for a final tally.

“The measure lost despite my own ‘yes’ vote. That’s sure disappointing, but I accept the will of the voters,” he said in a statement released shortly after the first totals were announced.

Clackamas County voters appeared to be rejecting light rail funding with 57 percent casting “no” votes and 44 percent saying “yes” (Measure 3-424).

The Portland Children’s Levy, Measure 26-150, was passing with 72 percent to 28 percent.

Happy with the early numbers, Rick North with the Clean Water Portland gives an interview

Happy with the early numbers, Rick North with the Clean Water Portland gives an interview

Michael Clapp / OPB

In early results, the Metro Parks Levy, Measure 26-152,  is passing with 53 percent to 47 percent in three counties.

In Lane County, the jail levy was winning with about 56 percent “yes” votes to 44 percent “no.”

In Josephine County, the vote was closer with 49 percent voting “yes” for the public safety levy and 51 percent voting “no,” while in Curry County early returns showed 56 percent of voters rejecting their levy and 44 percent voting “yes.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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