The mid-term election held on Tuesday brought about varied reactions from Cal Poly students.
Some were hoping Proposition 19 would pass, others stood firmly against it. Some voters were relieved Proposition 23 fell through; others wished it would have stood. Some were apathetic with the results; many were not surprised.
The Republicans did not gain a majority in the Senate. Democrats retained 51 seats to save their majority. Republicans have 47 seats. The GOP does have the House of Representatives.
Civil engineering senior Bill Steen said he thinks it will be interesting to see how the Republicans and the Democrats work together.
“We have a Republican House while the Senate — which makes the final decision — is held by the Democrats,” Steen said. “I’m curious how they’ll work together.”
Steen is not alone; others are wondering the same. According to CNN, Democratic Party chairman Tim Kaine said, “Maybe it is a message from the American public. We’ve got a Democrat in the White House. We’ll have a majority Republican governors. We’ll have a Democratic Senate (and) Republican House. Everybody’s got to work together.”
Other results of the elections weren’t surprising for some voters.
“As far as Proposition 19 goes, I’m not that surprised,” Steen said. “It was the first time it was proposed so I didn’t really think it would pass.”
Electrical engineering senior Lee Tolentino agrees.
“I’m not surprised on Prop 19 because more people are against legalizing marijuana,” Tolentino said. “I think a big reason why is because it would involve more taxes.”
In contrast, business administration freshman Madison Gilliland was surprised that Proposition 19 did not pass.
“It makes me wonder how much of the younger population actually turned out to vote,” she said.
Environmental management and protection junior Jason Slamovich said being a “young” voter can be a challenge.
“I think it’s hard to get a good understanding about the issues,” Slamovich said. “You only hear the popular beliefs, not both sides.”
Business administration sophomore Suzanne Chong was disappointed to hear the proposition had been defeated.
“Legalizing marijuana would bring in money for California and help with the deficit,” Chong said. “I also think police attention should be on larger crimes than using marijuana.”
The Compassionate Care Clinic in San Luis Obispo is a local medical marijuana dispensary. Mary Eanes is a nurse practitioner and physician’s assistant at the clinic. She said the government needs to find a way to legalize and regulate marijuana, she said.
“Alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana and yet alcohol is still legal,” Eanes said.
The fight over Proposition 23 sparked a variety of reactions as well.
Earth sciences senior Emmet Woods lobbied against Proposition 23. He campaigned for more than 60 hours to get students to vote no on Proposition 23 and is relieved his hard work paid off.
“It’s good to feel like I made an impact,” Woods said. “It seemed so many things in the election overall went the way I did not want them to go, but with Prop. 23, it did go the way I campaigned.”
Gilliland felt differently about the opposition of Proposition 23.
“As a business major, I wanted Prop. 23 to pass because business owners have a lot of cost to swallow with the bad economy,” she said. “More and more businesses will leave if they have to comply with more and more restrictions and California needs the jobs they offer. I’m not against clean air but we should be a place to be able to afford it.”
Reactions varied about election outcomes among Cal Poly alumni as well. Alumnus David Cooper thinks the best way to react to the election is to wait and see.
“I hope we don’t have to suffer through two more years of gridlock, but I’m trying to maintain an open outlook and see how it goes,” Cooper said.
Catherine Borgeson and Erin Hurley contributed to this article.