Today will be a historic day, for both Washingtons; it will determine which direction we take our country for the next four years. Obama or Romney? It could potentially take days for all the results to be in—if all does not go smoothly. But besides the presidential election, this year several states are also voting on measures that could change citizens’ day-to-day life significantly.
Namely, Washington State is leading the charge on a number of important issues. They will possibly become the first state to allow same-sex marriage—nay, embrace it—with Referendum 74 and a popular vote. Other states have legalized it in the past, but only because of legislative or court action. Maine and Maryland are also voting on similar initiatives this year, and Minnesota will decide whether to accept or reject a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
The use of recreational marijuana is also on the ballot this year in Washington with Initiative 502. Oregon and Colorado also have similar measures on the ballot, but with tighter regulations and taxation. The measure is looked upon favorably in both Washington and Colorado.
Washington will also vote this year on whether or not to allow charter schools to operate in the state. Currently, they are just one of nine states that do not allow them. Initiative 1240 would allow up to 40 schools to open, with a focus on at-risk children. The state has already rejected similar measures three times in the past.
What will today’s outcome be? There’s a lot on the plate, and a lot at stake. Only time will tell.