MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesotans can head to the polls as early as this week for the upcoming election.

You can fill out an absentee ballot starting Friday without giving a reason for casting your vote early.

A new poll from the Star Tribune shows U.S. Sen. Al Franken with a substantial lead over Republican challenger Mike McFadden.

Forty-nine percent of voters back Franken. McFadden has 36 percent. Another 11 percent say they have not yet decided.