Almost 290,000 ballots are in the mail for Washington County voters to decide the fate of two countywide tax levies and several city measures.

Ballots must be in the hands of county elections officials or at designated drop-off sites by 8 p.m. Nov. 3. Postmarks do not count.

Elections Division Manager Mickie Kawai said the bulk of 286,000 ballots were delivered Wednesday, Oct. 14, to the U.S. Postal Service. About 700 ballots were sent earlier to those in military service, and 600 ballots will be sent to county voters with out-of-state addresses.

The Elections Division office at 3700 S.W. Murray Blvd., Beaverton, will be open additional hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

No opposing arguments were filed to the two countywide tax levies, which if passed would take effect in July 2016.

Measure 34-235 would set a rate of 22 cents per $1,000 of taxable value of property, up from the current 17 cents during the previous five years, for Washington County Cooperative Library Services.

The levy provides about a third of operating support for 15 member libraries, as well as central support such as the electronic catalog and Internet access shared by the libraries and courier and outreach services. The proposed levy would allow some libraries to expand hours, enable the fledgling Aloha library to join, and provide operating support if some communities decide to expand capacity.

Measure 34-236 would continue a rate of 42 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value, unchanged from the previous five years, for an array of public safety services.

Among the countywide services supported by the levy are operations of the jail in Hillsboro, prosecution of criminal suspects, parole and probation for offenders, services for juvenile offenders, shelters for survivors of domestic violence and specialized teams for crash reconstruction, crisis response and mental health.

Sheriff Pat Garrett said the countywide levy pays for some sheriff’s deputies. Property taxpayers within an Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District, created in 1987, pay a separate levy to generate money for additional deputies to patrol unincorporated areas. That levy is not on this ballot.

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