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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Early absentee voting began today for the August 9 primary election as well as the special election for the First District Congressional District in southern Minnesota.

The special election ballot lists Republican Brad Finstad, Democrat Jeff Ettinger, Haroun McClellan of the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party, and Richard Reisdorf of the Legal Marijuana Now Party. The winner of the special election will represent the First District through the end of this year by finishing the term of the late Congressman Jim Hagedorn.

The general election primary ballot includes a long list of candidates for a variety of local and state elected positions. The top two vote-getters for each of those positions will advance to the November general election.

Voters can request an absentee ballot online by clicking here.

Early voting in person is available at the Olmsted County Elections Office (2122 Campus Drive SE in Rochester) from 8 AM through 5 PM on weekdays until the end of the business day on August 8.

TRIBUTE: 29 U.S. Service Members From Minnesota Killed During the War in Afghanistan

After 20 years of war, 29 men and women from Minnesota made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan while serving our country during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Scroll through the photos below and pay tribute to our fellow Minnesotans who served with valor.

The information below comes from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count