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TO THE POLLS! Vice President Joe Biden speaks to an enthusiastic crowd at the Municipal Auditorium in Sarasota on Oct. 31. Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN URGES VOTERS TO CAST THEIR BALLOTS IN THE NOV. 6 GENERAL ELECTION By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Vice President Joe Biden hit Sarasota Wednes- day, Oct. 31, delivering a fiery 42-minute speech during which he tagged the Romney/ Ryan ticket for "cynical, cynical" ad tactics. Campaign volunteers and staffers meanwhile urged supporters to vote early, then volunteer. Sarasota County has not voted for a Demo- cratic president since FDR in 1944, but Biden's presence less than a week before Election Day is dramatic evidence of how the Repub- lican-Democratic gap has dwindled in recent cycles. Obama came within 211 votes of car- rying the county in 2008 after rallying support- ers at Ed Smith Stadium in the campaign's fi- nal week. Biden worked hard to recapture that enthusi- asm this week. Around 1,350 Obama supporters packed the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium well before Biden came onstage, and they were treated to speeches by a campaign volunteer and Obama for America Field Organizer Ed James. The message was simple: Go vote; then, sign up to make phone calls and knock on doors. Democrats are heavily emphasizing absentee and early voting this year, trying to collect as

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