While there may be no county, state or national races to be determined, every ballot that is cast today in the city of Princeton is still of equal importance.

Polls open in the city at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. There are more than 3,700 registered voters in Princeton who are eligible to cast a ballot today in the city’s contested municipal contest. The city has already recorded 77 early ballots.

Four candidates are vying for three seats on the Princeton City Council today. The candidates include incumbents Dewey W. Russell, Patricia “Pat” Wilson, Jimm Norman and challenger James “Jimmy” Brennan.

All registered voters in the city should vote. By casting a ballot, you will be helping to chart the city’s future for the next four years.

Princeton voters won’t be the only citizens casting a ballot this month. A number of municipal elections will be held Tuesday, June 14. They include the towns of Bramwell, Matoaka and Athens in Mercer County and the towns of Kimball, Iaeger and Bradshaw in McDowell County. The town of Northfork will be holding a special levy election on Saturday, June 11, to decide whether the town should turn ownership and operation of its municipal water system over to the McDowell County Public Service District.

In a small-town election, every vote is important. History has shown us that some municipal races can and will be determined by only a handful of votes. That’s why every vote cast today and next week is vital to the future of our cities and town.

It can be argued that municipal elections are as important — or more so — to average citizens than highly-publicized presidential bids. The reason: The decisions made by individuals elected to these positions often have a direct influence on the citizens they represent.

After all, President Barack Obama will not have a hand in raising or lowering street fees within a small municipality or enacting ordinances that mandate the upkeep of yards. But these are the type of issues local mayors and council members address on a regular basis. And they are the very issues that can have a significant impact on the daily life of town residents.

We encourage all residents of Princeton to vote today. While there are plenty of excuses for not voting — such as “I don’t have time” or “I haven’t kept up on the issues” — none are valid reasons for not exercising this all-important right.

Today is a chance to make your voice and opinion heard regarding the city of Princeton’s future. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

And be prepared to vote on Tuesday, June 14, in Bramwell, Matoaka, Athens, Kimball, Iaeger and Bradshaw.

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