Casting vote is an essential part of a country’s democracy, and despite being in space, an American astronaut ensured that she made her voice heard for the 2020 US Presidential election.
‘I voted today’, said astronaut Kate Rubins from the International Space Station on October 23 after exercising her right to vote in the 2020 US election.
The picture which was shared on the NASA Astronauts Twitter page featured a photograph of Rubins, her blonde hair floating in the zero-gravity environment, in front of a white enclosure with a paper sign that reads “ISS voting booth.”
How do astronauts vote in space:
According to NASA “voting in space has been possible since 1997 when a bill passed to legally allow voting from space in Texas.” The space agency explained that it sent a few absentee ballots to the NASA astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station ahead of US’ November’s elections
“It’s the same form military members and their families fill out while serving outside of the US. By completing it ahead of their launch, space station crew members signal their intent to participate in an election from space,” NASA said.
A secure electronic ballot generated by a clerk’s office in Harris County, home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, was sent up via email to the ISS. Rubins filled out the ballot in the email and it was downlinked and delivered back to the clerk’s office.
This is not her first time
According to NASA, Rubins had also voted from the International Space Station during the 2016 elections.
“I think it’s really important for everybody to vote. If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too. It’s critical to participate in our democracy. We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space,” Rubins told Associated Press prior to her space launch.
Meanwhile, Kate Rubins, along with her Russian crewmates is on a six-month-long mission that was launched on October 14.