Lines expected on last day of early voting

Published On: Nov 03 2012 02:34:31 AM EDT
Updated On: Nov 03 2012 07:08:35 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida's early voting ends at 7 p.m. on Saturday and thousands across the state are taking advantage. They plan to join the 3.4 million Floridians who cast their ballots before election day, either through early voting or by submitting an absentee ballot.

"This is a very important election and I'm here to do my part," Judy Hughes told Local 10's Carlos Suarez. Hughes was one of hundreds of people who lined up to vote early Saturday morning at the African American Research Library in Fort Lauderdale.

Early Voting Locations:Miami-Dade County | Broward County

Dozens of voters took part in a final push to get people to the polls. They marched to the location together as a part of an event called "Step Up to the Polls." It was put on in part because state lawmakers shortened the number of early voting days this year.

On Thursday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected calls Thursday to extend early voting through Sunday to help alleviate long lines at the polls. Organizations had filed petitions after a record number of voters came out for early voting, forcing thousands to wait for hours to cast their ballots.

The governor has not given any indication that he might change his mind.

Election officials recommend taking a look at sample ballots before heading to the polls, in order to keep lines moving quickly.

Estimated Wait Times:Miami-Dade County | Broward County

More Democrats (86,848) had taken advantage of the early voting in Florida while more Republicans (80,021) returned absentee ballots though Thursday.

There were 595,661 non-affiliated voters in addition to 1,293,223 Democrats and 1,472,278 Republicans who have voted in the Sunshine State.

In the final days of the election season, Florida Republicans are keeping their substantial fundraising lead over the state's Democrats.

Campaign reports filed on Friday showed that the Republican Party of Florida raised nearly $14 million in cash donations, while the Florida Democratic Party took in nearly $7.5 million. The reports cover money taken in by the parties from Aug. 10 until Nov. 1.

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