NASA astronaut Kate Rubins didn’t let a pesky thing like space travel stop her from casting a ballot in this year’s hotly contested election. Instead, she cast her ballot from space.
The agency apparently has a “vote as you float” policy for its astronauts, which enabled Rubin to vote while on her mission. In this case, Rubins went into a makeshift voting booth in the International Space Station and submitted a specialized electronic ballot.
The process itself is fairly complex. Astronauts have to signal before they leave Earth for their missions if they intend to vote or not, and then the county clerk from their home district sends a test to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to make sure the process is working. After that, a secure ballot is sent to the astronaut via email.
From the International Space Station: I voted today
— Kate Rubins pic.twitter.com/DRdjwSzXwy
— NASA Astronauts (@NASA_Astronauts) October 22, 2020
Millions of Americans have voted early, and many more are braving the pandemic to vote in person. Election day is November 3.