With a presidential race at the top of the ballot, Beaverton-area residents probably don’t need many reminders of the importance of the Nov. 6 election.

Voter participation will be near its quadrennial high-water mark, and many local issues, as well as national ones, will be influenced by the outcome.

In recent weeks, we have made recommendations in selected campaigns. One issue that deserves an additional reminder involves the public safety of much of Washington County.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is asking voters to renew a five-year levy that provides for enhanced patrols in urbanized areas that don’t happen to be within the boundaries of a city.

Communities such as Aloha, Bull Mountain, Cooper Mountain, Metzger, Bethany, Cedar Mill, Rock Creek, Cedar Hills and Garden Home are dependent upon these Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol Districts for full police protection. Only property owners within the enhanced districts are required to pay the additional levy, which will amount to 68 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That equates to $156 per year for a home assessed at $230,000 — just $12 more than the current levy, which is expiring.

These patrol districts, which have existed for 25 years, are a good deal for residents of unincorporated areas who benefit from the additional service.

The levy supports the jobs of about 60 deputies who focus their patrols within the enhanced districts.

Ballots for this election will arrive in Washington County mailboxes as early as this weekend.

There’s always the risk that some voters have paid less attention to local issues than they have to statewide and national concerns. But the decision regarding enhanced patrol districts will have a direct effect on livability for the 200,000 Washington County residents who reside within the districts. Voters in the districts should make sure they continue their current level of law enforcement service by approving Measure 34-198.

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