From the International Space Station: I voted today— Kate Rubins pic.twitter.com/DRdjwSzXwyOctober 22, 2020
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.
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.
Email Meghan Bartels at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
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Meghan is a senior writer at Space.com and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.