The Obama Administration was the calm before the storm. No scandals, no #MeToo movement and no president’s with rampant Twitter pages. Whether you believe in Obama’s politics or not, you have to admit that 2012, the peak of the Obama administration, was pretty damn calm.

Since President Trump was elected, there has been controversy left and right. If someone says “fake news” to me one more time, I might just lose it. There is so much drama surrounding politics that every time a new issue arises, the headline looks like it should come straight from The National Enquirer. But more than anything, I’m tired of people complaining about politics when they aren’t taking the initiative to be involved with civic engagement.

We are lucky enough to live in a democratic republic where we have a chance to change the things that impact us. We have a voice and have the power to use that voice to express how we feel and that’s not something that is universal.

There are countries ruled by dictators where if you speak out, it will be the last time you speak. There are countries where people are illiterate and cannot read about the things that affect them. There are countries where women still cannot vote because their voice is inferior to that of a mans. Take the opportunity and vote for the laws that you will be forced to follow.

Nevada has six ballot questions this year that will change the fate of our state. Some can be argued for better, others for worse but it doesn’t matter if you’re in love with politics or not — you need to vote.

Question 1

Marsy’s Law is ballot question number one this year, which addresses adding more protections for crime victims. This would mean that actual victims or family of the victim would have more protections for their privacy.

According to the RGJ, “the ballot measure would add more than a dozen protections for crime victims to Nevada’s Constitution, including the right to block the release of certain records related to the victim, the right to timely restitution owed by defendants and the right to be “reasonably protected” from defendants. It would also require officials to inform victims and their families about a defendant’s release date.”

If this measure is passed in November, Marsy’s Law will be enacted since it has been approved twice before.

Question 2

The next ballot question is about exempting feminine hygiene products from being taxed, also known as the “Pink Tax.”

If you have ever passed feminine hygiene products in your local Walgreens you know that a small box of tampons costs $12. Which doesn’t seem like a significant amount, but when women are forced to buy a box of tampons every single month until they reach menopause, it becomes a significant number.

According to the RGJ, “A fiscal note accompanying the measure estimates it would result in the loss of up to $7 million in annual tax revenues, or about 0.19 percent of the total income Nevada collected in fiscal year 2017.”

As much as it would hurt Nevada to lose $7 million dollars in tax revenues, it’s unfair to expect most women in your life to continue to add to that $7 million each year.

Question 3

Question three is a hot topic and not just because it’s electric. Question three is about having a choice of energy providers in the state of Nevada. This is the most controversial question on the ballot and has had the most media coverage.

This measure would take away NV Energy’s power monopoly and allow Nevada residents to pick their own power provider by 2023.

Those who support the measure have estimated that the change will save consumers approximately $11 per month on their electric bills. Those who oppose the measure say that opening the market will cost consumers an extra $25 per month.

If there was any ballot question to pay close attention to, it’s this one. Vote on this question. If you ever plan on turning on a light in the state of Nevada, this ballot measure will impact you. Stop the naivety, stop the ignorance and go out and vote.

Question 4

Question four is about exempting certain medical equipment from taxes. If question four is passed, then oxygen tanks and mobility devices would be removed from the list of taxable medical equipment. Almost all equipment prescribed by a physician would be removed from being taxed.

The state of Nevada said they are not aware of the financial impact this will bring to Nevada. This question may be too new to pass in November, but it’s a good idea to be aware of the measure as it will probably be on the ballot until it is passed.

Question 5

Measure five on the ballot revolves around automatically registering people to vote when they register at the Nevada DMV. Currently, people can opt-in for this service when registering, but this bill would force people to opt out of being automatically registered to vote.

Let’s be real, if everyone was registered to vote then I wouldn’t be writing this article.

Question 6

The last ballot measure is about requiring state electric producers to buy or generate 50 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2030.

Those supporting the measure say this will create more jobs, cleaner air and make Nevada more sustainable, while the opposition says that this will just increase prices for consumers.

According to the RGJ, state officials said they couldn’t determine the measure’s potential future impacts on state and local governments, though they conceded it may have an effect on Nevada’s overall energy prices.

If this measure is passed this year, it would still have to be confirmed on the 2020 ballot.

Now that you’re more informed on what you’re voting on — please go vote.

You, personally, have a chance of changing your community. You can take initiative and be involved in what personally affects you. If you want to vote, go vote. But if you don’t vote, don’t even think about making a single complaint about the changes you didn’t take an active role in voting for.

Jacey Gonzalez studies journalism. She can be reached at jaceygonzalez@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @JaceyLGonzalez.