American Astronauts Vote in the 2016 Election from Space

Tuesday, 08 November 2016 - 4:34PM
Tuesday, 08 November 2016 - 4:34PM
American Astronauts Vote in the 2016 Election from Space
Today, millions of Americans are casting their ballots for key political positions, including President of the United States, from their local polling places. We might complain about waiting in line, but two Americans had to go through significantly more trouble to vote, since they were forced to cast a ballot from space.

NASA announced yesterday that astronaut Shane Kimbrough cast his ballot from the International Space Station. He's the only American living in space right now (he's aboard the ISS with two Russian cosmonauts), after Kate Rubins returned home last week. It was unclear whether Rubins would return home before the election, so she cast her ballot from space as well. Like all of the astronauts who voted before them, they voted via absentee ballot, one that looks exactly like the one someone would receive on Earth. The ballot reportedly lists astronauts' addresses as "low-Earth orbit."

For all of you wondering who they're voting for, Kimbrough, at least, is leaving that burning question unanswered:
Opening quote
"[Astronauts are] pretty much apolitical," he told the press last month (via Palm Beach Post). "And I'll be glad to welcome the new president, whoever that is."
Closing quote

After such a polarizing election, it's difficult to believe that someone really wouldn't have an opinion. But regardless of whether that's true, it makes sense that NASA would want their astronauts to remain apolitical in public, since they represent a government agency.

Either way, the real moral of the story is: go out and vote! If astronauts can take the trouble to vote from space, you can make it to your local polling place.
Science
NASA