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Campaigns scramble on the final weekend before Nov. 8 election

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Democratic incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her Republican challenger Tudor Dixon spent the weekend rallying their supporters ahead of Tuesday’s election.

During a stop in Lansing on Saturday, Whitmer talked about protecting reproductive rights as she implored her supporters to forget what the polls are saying.

“We do the work. We turn people out the vote. And we win. It’s that simple,” Whitmer said.

Meanwhile in Waterford Township, Dixon pointed to declines in K-12 test scores and high gas prices as she rallied her supporters Saturday night.

“We will not let Gretchen Whitmer cost us another dime because we can make sure it never happens on Tuesday,” said Dixon.

It’s also been a busy weekend for groups lobbying for and against a proposal to put abortion rights in Michigan’s state Constitution.

“Prop 3, we’re going to turn it out, right?” said Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws), rallying supporters in Lansing Saturday.

Supporters worry if Prop 3 doesn't pass, a 1931 state law would make abortion illegal in Michigan. That’s just what leaders of the “No on Three” campaign want.

At an event that drew hundreds Sunday, Saginaw Bishop Robert Gruss urged Prop 3 opponents to get out the vote Tuesday.

“The reality of Proposal 3 is that it is not so much about reproductive freedom ... but rather about revoking the rights of the unborn,” said Gruss.

With Election Day drawing near, most of the attention has been on races for Michigan governor, Congress and statewide ballot proposals.

But there are many important races lower on the ballot.

Every seat in the Michigan House and Senate is on the ballot November 8. Voters will also cast ballots for seats on university governing boards.

And there are local offices. Voters in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Flint and other Michigan communities will decide mayoral races, and there are public safety related questions on many local ballots Tuesday.

In Lansing, voters are deciding on a $175 million proposal to replace and renovate public safety and court facilities.

Meanwhile in Tuscola County, the local sheriff is pushing a millage that would raise $44 million for a new county jail.

Michigan voters will also select judges. Seats on the Michigan Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Court and District Court are on the ballot.

Michigan Radio and NPR will provide complete election night coverage Tuesday.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.