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For candidates, a sprint on last day of early vote

Perfect beach weather may have kept crowds from the polls Saturday — but not so political candidates, who made their final pitches to voters across Miami-Dade County before Tuesday’s special election.

In West Kendall, Julio Robaina, wearing his campaign’s signature orange, waited in the sunshine outside a library as voters trickled in.

In Liberty City, Luther Campbell foraged for votes with his wife and their young son.

Jose “Pepe” Cancio and Marcelo Llorente greeted each other warmly when they crossed paths at the West Dade Regional Library, a hub of campaign signs and volunteers. Later, Carlos Gimenez came by too — first encountering Llorente, then, briefly, Robaina.

With early voting canceled Sunday, the contenders for Miami-Dade mayor, two county commission posts and a Florida House seat on Saturday tried to fit in back-to-back phone calls to supporters, campaign rallies and visits early voting sites to create momentum for Tuesday.

The elections department doubled voting hours on Saturday after canceling Sunday early voting to comply with a new state law.

Early voting for the special election has been lower than for the March recall, where frustrated voters ousted former Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas by a margin of 88 percent to 12 percent. The long lines trailing from early-voting polls, so common in general elections, were nowhere in sight on Saturday.

Full story here.