MIAMI ( – Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate Marcelo Llorente’s lawsuit to reinstate early voting on Sunday was rejected by Judge Barbara Areces late Friday afternoon.

Llorente had claimed that Miami-Dade County violated the spirit of the law by preemptively shutting down early voting on Sunday in anticipation of Governor Rick Scott signing into law HB 1355 which cut back early voting hours among other electoral changes.

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Judge Areces said Llorente and his lawyer, former state Rep. J.C. Planas, “failed to identify any statute or rule violated by the Defendants and cannot meet his burden.”

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Plus, Judge Areces acknowledged that the same day of the hearing in the case, May 19, 2011, Governor Scott signed HB 1355 into law. Judge Areces said that as a result, “this matter is moot and County Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.”

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Llorente released a statement shortly before 5:30 p.m. Friday saying in part, “Judge Areces’ ruling today is outrageous as it signals that the rules can be changed at the 11th hour of an election. It’s unfortunate that the rights of voters were trampled by Miami-Dade county officials.”