Early absentee voting begins for CD-1

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – Early voting to fill U.S. Representative Jim Hagedorn’s congressional seat is now open.

You can now make your voice heard by submitting your vote at Olmsted County elections, or in your county, either by in-person early absentee voting or by mail.

A primary election to narrow down the candidate list for Minnesota’s first congressional district will take place on May 24th.

That seat remains empty after Congressman Jim Hagedorn passed away earlier this year.

Twenty candidates have filed to run, including Congressman Hagedorn’s wife, and that list will be narrowed down during that May primary.

Congressional District One represents most of Southern Minnesota, from Winona to Worthington, and elections officials are ready for people to cast their votes.

"We’re geared up and ready for people to participate, whether they choose to participate absentee or they choose to go out on election day. Historically we’ve seen an increase in the number of people participating, absentee. There’s a lot of ways to participate and that longer span of time where if you aren’t available on election day, you can still participate in the process," Katie Smith, Associate Director of Property Records and Licensing for Olmsted County said.

If you’d like to complete early absentee voting by mail, all you have to do is request a mail ballot by applying online on the Secretary of State’s website or by contacting your county elections office.

After the May primary, the candidate with the most votes from each party will move on to the special election, which is happening on the same day as the Minnesota Primary on August 9th.