Two American astronauts have already cast their vote in the 2016 US Presidential Election from the International Space Station via electronic absentee ballot.
Shane Kimbrough and Kate Rubins both cast their vote from space before the latter returned to Earth last week. Kimbrough is still in orbit.
“Astronauts orbit the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, but thanks to a bill passed by Texas legislatures in 1997 that put in place technical voting procedure for astronauts – nearly all of whom live in Texas – they also have the ability to vote from space!” wrote NASA in a post on their official Tumblr page.
“For astronauts, the voting process starts a year before launch, when astronauts are able to select which elections (local/state/federal) that they want to participate in while in space,” they continued. “Then, six months before the election, astronauts are provided with a standard form: the “Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request – Federal Post Card Application.””
David Wolf, a NASA astronaut, became the first American to vote from space in 1997, casting his ballot for a local election.
— NASA (@NASA) November 8, 2016
In a comment to Fox News, NASA claimed that voting is done “through an electronic and secure ballot that is uplinked to the crewmember through our means from the local county clerk’s office,” adding, “The crewmember fills out the ballot and returns it electronically. All secure. All private.”
However, despite the divide during this election season, Kimbrough claimed that Astronauts are “pretty much apolitical.”
“I’ll be glad to welcome the new president, whoever that is,” he declared, adding that he was excited to be able to say, “I voted from space.”