Special Reports

American Astronauts Cast Their Vote from Outer Space


Given the controversies and rallies and everything in between, this year's presidential election seemed to have gone out of this world. Well, in a way it has because American democracy knows no boundaries and it cannot deny its citizens their basic rights despite a 259 mile distance. Yes, NASA's astronauts cast their votes from space.

Shane Kimbrough left Earth last month to head Expedition 50 to the International Space Station (ISS) and will not be back until February. Kimbrough, told reporters that astronauts are mostly apolitical and will welcome whoever becomes the 45th president, can proudly say, "I voted from space."

Fellow astronaut Kate Rubins who was onboard the ISS also cast her vote from space last month since there was a chance that she might be coming home later than planned.

This ultimate absentee voting is made possible by a 19-year-old Texas law that allows astronauts to vote while they are off the planet. This Texas legislature known as Rule 81.35 came into being to give astronauts the chance to vote while they are on a mission since most American astronauts live in Texas.

Astronauts are asked a yead in advance which election they would want to participate in while they are on space. They they are given standard forms: the voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request - Federal Post Card Application."

When its time for them to vote, mission control will send the absentee ballot to the space station for the astronauts to fill out then its returned using a secure connection and stamped with the address "low Earth orbit"

David Wolf was the first astronaut to vote in space while he was on a mission in 1997. Wolf was on board the Russian Mir space station at the time.

Well, those miles away from the polling stations made an effort to keep up with NASA's motto of "Vote while you float." There's no reason for us not to do it here.

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