By Alex Moreno
Election day is today; the nation and world couldn’t be more anxiously awaiting the results of the election.
The media and voters have been consumed by the election of our president and vice president, and I’ve heard people claim they are abstaining from voting altogether, because they cannot support either the Republican nominee Donald Trump or the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
In terms of the presidential nominee, I will just say that there are other presidential nominees on the ballot such as the Socialist Workers Party, Socialism and Libertarian Party, Green Party, Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, as well as the option to write in, so no individual should claim that choosing the lesser of two evils is the only way to vote.
Beyond the President and Vice President, it is equally important to vote on the U.S. Senator position, U.S. Representative Congressional District, and last but not least the initiatives, measures, and bills for the state and county.
Initiative Measure No. 1433 concerns labor standards and minimum wage. The initiative proposes to continually raise the state minimum wage every year, until it reaches $13.50 in 2020. Also, the initiative will require employers to provide paid sick leave.
Initiative Measure No. 1491 concerns temporary prevention of access to firearms. The proposed law would allow a court issued temporary prevention keeping an individual from obtaining a firearm. Police, family, or household members of an individual exhibiting mental illness or violent behavior could send the prevention request to the court.
Initiative Measure No. 1501 proposes to increase the penalties for criminal identity theft and civil consumer fraud, specifically targeted at seniors and other vulnerable individuals.
Initiative Measure No. 735 proposes that Washington state attempts to amend the federal constitution. The proposed amendment would state that constitutional rights belong only to individuals and not to corporations.
Initiative Measure No. 732 imposes a carbon emission tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity. Although, the measure does slightly reduce the sales tax and reduce some manufacturing taxes.
Advisory Note No. 15 or House Bill 2778 examines if the tax increase for research and development of clean alternative-fuel vehicles should be repealed or maintained. The tax will accumulate to $2 million in the first 10 years.
No individual should overlook their opportunity to directly impact their community with voting on specific laws and measures.
The State Measures, Initiative to the Legislature, Advisory Votes, Proposed Constriction Amendments, and County Measure all provide a unique opportunity to have a direct democracy without politicians representing beliefs and for an individual to specifically vote on bills.
Despite any beliefs, identifications, or mindset towards the election and voting, everyone should vote. Cast a ballot only pertaining to local laws, measures, or bills, vote for senators or Congress or the president and vice president. Don’t let one specific section hold you back from exercising your right to change your community and your nation.