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Vote While You float: An Astronaut Voting Story

Vote While You float: An Astronaut Voting Story

With the excitement of getting to
the polls on Election Day many people will have a hard time keeping their feet
on the ground, but astronauts who vote literally have to strap themselves down so
they don’t float away.

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!


Image Kjell Lindgren released on social media of the US flag floating in the Cupola module (11/12/2015) 

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. Then, six months before the election, astronauts are provided with a standard form: the “Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot
Request – Federal Post Card Application.”

 ‘Space voting’ was first used the same year it
was implemented in 1997. NASA astronaut David Wolf became the first American to
vote in space while on the Russian Mir Space Station. 


STS-86 crewmember
David Wolf, the first American to vote in space, relaxes in the Spacehab module
while Space Shuttle Atlantis was docked to Mir (10/16/1997) 

While astronauts
don’t have to wait in line for his ballot like the rest of us, there is one
disadvantage to voting in space: they miss out on the highly coveted “I Voted”

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