GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The heated and polarized 2012 election is over. Voters spoke to four more years of an Obama presidency, including the incumbent's win of swing-state Colorado.
Colorado's 3rd Congressional district will continue to be represented by Scott Tipton, and the state will likely see a transition from solely recognizing medical marijuana use, to a state-regulated system of marijuana being available for recreational purposes.
Grand Valley polling places had their hands full Tuesday with more than 10,000 voters casting ballots in Mesa County on Election Day and approximately 89% of registered voters casting ballots overall, according to the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder.
The valley's busiest polling places at Goodwill and the Colorado Mesa University Ballroom had wait times of up to an hour.
"A line to vote?" Scott V. of Grand Junction grumbled as he stopped to look at a line filled with more than 100 voters outside CMU's Ballroom. "Last (time) at the church on Patterson it was in and out," he added.
The line wasn't so bad for CMU marketing major Sara McGuire, who used to live in California. She said the last line she stood in to vote was a mile long.
Kurt Laubhan of Grand Junction said he had no problem waiting considerably longer than he did the last time he voted at the campus four years ago. Laubhan said he planned to vote "mostly Republican," intending to check Mitt Romney for president and to re-elect Republican Scott Tipton over Democratic challenger Sal Pace for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.
"I think that the way Democrats run their party is advantageous for those who don't want to follow the requirements of the American dream, like hard work and sacrifice," Laubhan said before adding: "The Republicans aren't perfect either."
McGuire, about 20 feet behind Laubhan in line, said she was still undecided on who she would vote for president. She added that she had been personally debating the issue for a few months, and that she would know once she stepped inside the voting booth.
She was also undecided on Tipton/Pace: "They haven't had as much ads (as the presidential candidates)," she said. "Their platforms aren't so obvious."
"I do pay attention to (political ads)," McGuire said. "I'm a marketing major. I watch which tactics they use."
Laubhan also planned to vote in favor of Amendment 64, which could legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use in the state, while still being illegal under federal law.
"Marijuana is just as safe as alcohol, and should be legal like alcohol," Laubhan said.
"I think it should be more of a medical thing," McGuire said about the amendment and marijuana use in general.