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US astronaut votes early from space station

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins shared her voting selfie from orbit after stating before her launch earlier this month that she would cast her ballot from the International Space Station.

Since 1997, as a concession to the fact that most NASA astronauts live near the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas has had an extreme absentee ballot procedure in place for anyone who finds themselves off Earth on Election Day. It's requested like any other absentee ballot, but with the address "low Earth orbit"; NASA delivers the digital ballot first to the astronaut, then to the state's election authorities.

"From the International Space Station: I voted today," Rubins wrote in a tweet posted on Thursday (Oct. 22).

Related: International Space Station at 20: A photo tour

Rubins arrived in orbit for her second spaceflight on Oct. 14 and will remain on the space station for about six and a half months. She is the only American in space and will remain so on Election Day (Nov. 3).

The three NASA astronauts scheduled to fly on the Crew-1 mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule had planned to vote from space as well, but delays to their planned Oct. 31 launch mean that they (and a Japanese crewmate) will remain on Earth until mid-November..

In addition to absentee ballots, Texas also permits early voting; the period runs from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30 this year. 

You can check your state's voting options and make a plan for casting your ballot at vote.org.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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