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FIU early voting site to debut - to potential benefit of university, medical-pot advocates

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami-Dade County will open more sites than ever when early voting begins Oct. 20. There will be 25 locations, up from 20.

Among the new places: Florida International University's stadium.

That will surely be convenient for FIU students, whose university leaders are campaigning for a ballot question that would allow the main campus to expand onto park land.

The stadium accommodation during an FIU referendum appears to be a coincidence. Miami-Dade identified FIU as a potential voting site in February, according to the elections department. But it wasn't formally recommended for use until April, about a month after public talk of an FIU referendum began. County commissioners didn't approve the ballot question until September.

Embarrassingly long voting lines in 2012 prompted the county to endorse opening more sites in future general elections. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez even said Marlins Park would be a good idea. Stadiums didn't become an option until last year, when state lawmakers expanded the list of permitted sites to include places other than city halls and public libraries.

Another campaign might also be particularly interested in the FIU voting site. Young voters are in the sights of advocates pushing a proposed Florida constitutional amendment that would legalize the medical use of marijuana. 

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