More than enough signatures collected, but still must be verified

Opponents of adding fluoride to Portland's water supply turned in petitions with many more signatures that necessary to block the City Council plan from taking effect on Thursday.

Opponents needed to collect 19,858 valid city voter signatures to suspend the plan until voters can either approve or reject it during a 2013 election. Instead, Clean Water Portland leader Kim Kaminski says the group submitted more than 43,000 signatures to city elections officials.

Multnomah County elections official still must verify the signatures. If they rule that enough valid signatures have been collected, the council must schedule a vote on the plan next year. The earliest it could happen would be in May.

Portland's plan to add fluoride to the city's water turned in signature petitions a day ahead of a deadline and with thousands of signatures to spare.

Last month the council approved adding fluoride to the water by March 2014. Supporter say it fights tooth decay. Opponents say it is unsafe, and they also denounced the majority of the council for supporting the plan before the first public hearing was held on it.

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