NASA astronaut Kate Rubins goes above and beyond to vote

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins hands-down wins the best voting experience story for this presidential election.

Rubins cast her ballot from the International Space Station (ISS), which gives all of us no excuse to not get out and vote.

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This isn’t the first time the NASA astronaut has made headlines voting from space. In 2016 Rubins also cast her vote from the ISS, according to NASA.  

Rubins is a crew member aboard the Expedition 63/64 assigned to a six-month mission that launched on October 14.

Which brings us to the question: How does one vote from orbit?

According to NASA, astronauts have been able to vote from space since 1997, when legislation was passed allowing astronauts the right to exercise their civic duty while on a mission.

“We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space,” Rubins said in a YouTube video about the process. “We fill out a form and we vote via an absentee ballot.”

Like most things in space, the process starts off as an experiment.

Using a cool makeshift voting booth  like the one Rubins showcased in a recent NASA tweet, she fills out a secure electronic ballot generated by the Harris County Clerk’s office and uplinked by Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.

After casting her vote, the completed ballot is then sent back to the County Clerk by email where it is officially recorded.

“If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground too,” Rubins said.

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