By Brooke Wolfe, Guest Writer

On Nov. 4, Washington citizens statewide will drive, mail or drop their voting ballots for the general election. Students can find information on elections by contacting LuteVote, a division of ASPLU.

The general election consists of the voting taking place before the primary election to give voters the opportunity to have their voice be heard on a local level.This election, Washington citizens will cast their ballots for Congressional, Superior Court and Court of Appeals seats as well as state initiatives.

The ballots will give citizens the opportunity to decide on topics such as smaller class sizes in the state school system, the use of background checks when purchasing firearms and taxation of the marijuana agriculture business.

One of the leading issues is Initiative 1351, which affects the education of all students in Washington state from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Supporters of the initiative are in favor of reallocating additional funds to the state education budget to reduce the number of students in each class room and increase the number of support staff for each student.

Passing Initiative 1351 would further focus on areas of poverty within the state, where additional resources beyond what is requested for the initiative will be allocated.

Along with Initiative 1351, this year’s ballot features dueling Initiatives 591 and 594, which represent two topics involving the requirement of background checks during the purchase and use of firearms.

Supporters of 591 are in favor of eliminating the possibility of government agencies removing or detaining any firearms from citizens without due process. Additionally, the measure favors optional background checks on purchasers of firearms.

Initiative 594 would require universal background checks for all residents purchasing a firearm.

The use of firearms has drawn mass attention in the past years and possibilities for moving forward with the firearm protection laws are well-represented on this ballot.

Rounding out the election will be Advisory Note Number 8.

Legislators previously decided that marijuana is not a farm product of Washington state. Unlike wheat and dairy products, which receive tax breaks for their agricultural value, the commercial farming of marijuana does not.

The election rules for Washington State stipulate that any change to tax structure must be decided on by voters during the general election.

Advisory Note Number 8 seeks to uphold the Legislator’s decision. A yes vote retains the current tax structure, maintaining the revenue from marijuana for the state.

Along with these initiatives and advisory notes, the general election will also request votes on the induction of the state’s next Congressional, Supreme Court and Court of Appeals seats.

With the general election comes the opportunity for citizens to decide the leadership and course of action for our state.

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