It is an exciting time of year! Spring has sprung — as the cliché goes — summer is just around the corner, and it is time for municipal elections.

Local elections are interesting and time consuming, and very important. These are the people and items that will impact your life, your taxes, etc.

Here is a rundown of the June election process from the news perspective.

Nomination papers for elected positions become available in early spring. We, at the newspaper, check in with the town offices periodically to see who has taken the papers out and returned them.

Completed nomination papers require a certain amount of signatures depending on the number of voters in a municipality.

Then, once the deadline arrives, it is time to announce all candidates.

From there, we contact candidates and determine what our coverage will be. It is important to be fair and balanced; to present the candidates as honestly as possible. Of course, the unfortunate truth of the matter is no matter how we cover this, someone will be unhappy. Every job has some aspect like this.

While all this is going on with the elected positions, we also have warrant articles being approved by the current town leadership.

Warrant articles are items to be voted on at the annual Town Meeting. They can cover a variety of topics, and like most things involving government they are both very simple and very complicated.

Some warrant articles are “boiler-plate” ones approved each year to allow the municipal government to function.

These boiler-plate items are things like authorizing the select board to enter into contracts, apply for grants and otherwise act quickly for the municipality without the need for a vote.

Then, there are the warrant articles brought by citizen petition. If a citizen petition meets the legal requirements, they are supposed to be added as a warrant article to the Town Meeting.

My suggestion if you are trying to add a citizen petition as a warrant article? Get a lawyer. Lawyers spent a lot of time and energy learning about things like this. The laws surrounding these things are complex and confusing. Get a professional on your side. OK, petition rant over.

Finally, there are warrant articles brought forth by the town government. Some of these are proposed ordinances. Sometimes they are selling town property or accepting donations. Sometimes they are about the future of certain projects.

Towns must hold public hearings about these warrant articles. We attend those as well, and try to help readers understand more about the upcoming election options.

Then election day arrives. This involves driving around to the polls for photos then working until midnight to report the results.

The next day we contact any municipalities that had elections but did not get us the results yet.

Open town meeting usually comes next. These are the in-person votes by a show of hands. This New England tradition has been a controversial issue recently, and some municipalities are talking about doing away with it in favor of secret ballot votes instead.

I had no idea the open town meeting even existed until I started working at the newspaper!

This year, the municipal elections are June 14. Local polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. See our election rundown to learn about voting in your town.

Christine Simmonds is the Assistant Editor of The Courier-Gazette. She has lived in Knox County most of her life.