In the past couple of weeks, if you’re registered to vote you received a hefty primary ballot in your mailbox.

This time around, voters are being asked to weigh in on a lot. Should the sales tax be increased to fund expanded arts, science, and heritage education efforts? Who should advance to the general election, not just in the crowded race for mayor, but for a pair of city council positions, three Seattle School Board seats, and three Port of Seattle Commission openings?

We won’t tell you who to choose for these various roles. Instead, we’re merely asking that you take some time to research these races, and cast your ballot by election day. That means mailing your ballot by Aug. 1, or returning it to one of the many 24-hour drop boxes peppered across the county by 8 p.m. that evening.

For Magnolia residents, there is a drop box located at Magnolia Park (1461 Magnolia Boulevard West), while residents of Queen Anne can either cross the train tracks to that location, or head to the Ballard Library (corner of Northwest 57th Street and 22nd Avenue Northwest), to drop off their ballot.

People tend to say this often, but this time it really does ring true: This election is more important than ever.

With the policies coming out of the other Washington often in stark contrast to the values held by most Seattlelites, how we choose to tax ourselves, for what causes, and what elected officials chart our path forward.

We don’t have to tell you how important each vote may be in the mayor’s race, with no fewer than six legitimate contenders for the position. You may remember that, back in 2009, then-incumbent Greg Nickels failed to make the general election by just over 2,000 votes. This year, the margin between those who advance and those who come up short may be even less.

If determining who makes it to the general election doesn’t sway you, at least consider that this will be your only chance to weight in on the “Access for All” campaign. If approved, Proposition 1 would increase the county sales tax by 0.1 percent, in an effort to increase funding for various arts and science education organizations, to the tune of $70 million per year. Regardless of where you stand of the merits of the measure, it will only be on the August ballot, making this your only chance to weigh in.

So, take some time, whether it be after you finish reading this paper, or when you have a few hours this weekend, to sit down with your ballot, make your choices, and mail it in or drop it off.