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Voting in space? How astronauts vote while floating

American flag in space - NASA.PNG
Voting in space? How astronauts vote while floating (Photo: NASA)

How do you voice your vote in the vacuum of space?

While voters head to polling locations across the country in the 2018 Midterm Elections, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are floating over 200 miles away.

Thanks to a special electronic absentee ballot, and a bill passed in Texas back in 1997, NASA astronauts can vote from space.

Here's how NASA says it works:

Six months prior to an election, astronauts are provided with crew member-specific credentials and fill out a standard form - the "Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request - Federal Post Card Application." The secure electronic ballot is then sent back to Earth.

NASA says 'Space voting' was first used in '97, the year of its implementation. David Wolf became the first American to vote in space.

Two astronauts voted from the ISS in the 2008 presidential election between Republican John McCain and former President Barack Obama.

In the 2016 presidential election, Shane Kimbrough - the sole American astronaut in the station at the time - was also able to say "I voted from space."

Three astronauts are currently aboard the station. They are scheduled for re-entry on December 20, 2018.


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