Why there are no anti-fluoride arguments in some voters' pamphlets

Why there are no anti-fluoride arguments in some voters' pamphlets

PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s not just voters in Multnomah County who will weigh in on the fluoride issue. A handful of voters in Washington County affected by the measure will also have a chance to vote.

Some of those voters might have noticed that in the Washington County voters' pamphlet there are no arguments listed against the measure, even though there are many arguments for it. That has people asking why, including one viewer who wrote to ask us on Facebook.

The answer comes down to money and the law in Oregon. The arguments in the pamphlets are submitted by individual people who pay to be included.

Oregon administrative rules state that any person can file an argument on either side of an issue. They are not written by the government. They are regulated by length, but not by content.

In Washington County, officials told us that nobody submitted any arguments against fluoride. On the pro-fluoride side, 21 people paid the $25 fee to submit arguments.

The county does provide a summary of the measure and what it would do.

In Washington County there are fewer than 1,000 people voting on the fluoride issue.

The chairwoman of Clean Water Portland, a group advocating against fluoridating Portland’s water, said her group made the choice to not file arguments in Washington County because of budget issues.

“At the time we were wondering if we could even manage to pay our rent so we had to make the hard decisions and spend our money on Multnomah County voters’ pamphlets,” Kim Kaminski said.

She said the group decided it would be more effective to reach Washington County voters through direct mail and phone calls.

Ballots due Tuesday

If you haven’t voted yet, it’s too late to mail your ballot in and be sure it will arrive by the 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline. That means you’ll need to drop your ballot at an official drop box.

Drop-box sites in Oregon

Drop-box sites in Washington