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PORTLAND -- Voters in Portland will decide on whether fluoride should be added to the city's water.

Volunteers with Clean Water Portland needed about 20,000 valid signatures for their referendum to make the ballot. More than 33,000 were turned in.

More:Mayor supports fluoride in Portland

The city council last month unanimously passed an ordinance to add fluoride to the city's water by March 2014. It's likely an election on the issue would take place in May of 2014.

Dental experts say fluoride is effective in fighting cavities.

Opponents of public fluoridation say it's unsafe and violates an individual's right to consent to medication.

City Code specifies that a referendum measure should be placed on the ballot at the next biennial primary or general election unless public interest in a prompt resolution of the question outweighs the costs associated with a special election.

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