NASA Astronaut Voting from Space Encourages Americans to Vote From the Ground

In the course of the November three nationwide elections, NASA astronaut Kate Rubin might be on the Worldwide Area Station (ISS). However despite the fact that she’ll be 200 miles above the Earth, she plans on voting and he or she’s encouraging Earth-bound Individuals to do the identical.

“I feel it is actually necessary for everyone to vote,” Rubin mentioned Friday in an announcement to the Related Press. “If we are able to do it from area, then I consider of us can do it from the bottom, too.”

Though Rubin will not be on the planet—she’ll be floating across the ISS—she and different U.S. astronauts are nonetheless legally allowed to forged ballots from area due to a 1997 Texas regulation.

Many U.S. astronauts declare residence in Houston, Texas, house of the Lyndon B. Johnson Area Heart, the place NASA trains its astronauts. As such, astronauts are permitted to vote within the state’s elections from area due to part 81.35 within the Texas Administrative Code.

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The regulation states, “An individual who meets the eligibility necessities of a voter underneath the Texas Election Code, Chapter 101, however who might be on an area flight through the early voting interval and on Election Day, might vote.”

Texas handed the regulation after Mike Jackson, a Republican who was then a Texas state Senator, heard that American astronaut John E. Blaha wasn’t in a position to vote through the 1996 presidential elections. Blaha was on a mission on the Russian Mir area station on the time, in keeping with NPR.

In a latest message in regards to the upcoming nationwide elections, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins mentioned, “I feel it’s actually necessary for everyone to vote. If we are able to do it from area, then I consider of us can do it from the bottom, too.” She is presently in Star Metropolis, Russia, making ready for a mid-October launch in direction of the Worldwide Area Station.
Invoice Ingalls-NASA/Getty

For astronauts to vote, the astronaut should notify NASA of their intention to forged a poll as much as a 12 months forward of time. Then, nearer to Election Day, the Houston County Clerk should ship the poll to the Johnson Area Heart’s Mission Management, and Mission Management then electronically transmits the poll to the astronaut’s spacecraft.

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Included with the poll is a particular entry code to make sure that the astronaut who requested the poll is the one one who can entry it for voting. After the astronaut makes their choices, they transmit their accomplished poll again to Mission Management which then delivers it to the county clerk’s workplace to be counted.

Rubin is presently in Star Metropolis, Russia, house to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Coaching Heart, the place she is making ready alongside two cosmonauts for his or her mid-October launch to the ISS. Rubin will keep on the ISS for six months.

She’s not the primary astronaut ever to vote from area, although. Shane Kimbrough forged his poll from ISS within the 2016 nationwide elections. Leroy Chiao, commander of Expedition 10, voted within the 2004 election whereas aboard the ISS too. Astronaut David Wolf additionally voted in a neighborhood election in 1997 whereas aboard the Russian area station, Mir.

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