A Miami-Dade judge on Friday backed the county elections department’s decision to cancel a day of early voting for Tuesday’s special election. Circuit Judge Barbara Areces dismissed a lawsuit filed by county mayoral candidate Marcelo Llorente, who argued the elections department acted unconstitutionally when it did away with early voting scheduled for Sunday.
Lester Sola, the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections, changed the schedule earlier this week to comply with a new elections law Gov. Rick Scott signed on Thursday. The law requires early voting to end three days before Election Day.
To make up for the lost time, the county doubled early voting hours on Saturday. Early voting sites will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sunday.
“In amending the schedule prior to the Governor signing the bill, the Supervisor of Elections acted prudently, responsibly and in the best interest of the voters of Miami-Dade County,” Judge Areces wrote in her three-page order, released Friday afternoon.
…Llorente called the judge’s decision “outrageous.” “It signals that the rules can be changed at the 11th hour,” he said. “We believe [voters] will be disenfranchised, no question.”