Astronauts Cast Vote From Space Thanks to 1997 Texas Law

Filed in Gather News Channel by on November 2, 2010 0 Comments

It is Election Day in the U.S., and people throughout the states are voting. It turns out that you don’t have to be on Earth to vote. In fact, astronauts were actually able to vote from space.

Three American astronauts who currently reside aboard the International Space State were able to vote in today’s historic mid-term elections. The three who cast their vote from space are U.S. Army Col. Douglas Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Navy Capt. Scott Kelly. They were able to cast their votes in their local county elections from a mere 220 miles above Earth. Talk about amazing voting technology! There likely won’t be any hanging chad issues with these ballots.

County officials actually prepared the astronauts’ ballots and sent them up from Mission Control. The cast their vote using e-mail. Kelly said, “I think Texas actually passed a law where we could vote from space, and it felt like an honor and privilege to exercise our rights as U.S. citizens from the International Space Station.” It is so nice that these astronauts’ counties took the extra steps to allow these astronauts to vote.

Since 1997, American astronauts have been able to vote from space due to a Texas law giving them that right. David Wolf was the first astronaut to exercise that right in 1997. NASA said that all three astronauts took the time to cast their ballot for today’s elections in Galveston and Harris Counties.

Even the astronauts who will go up with Discovery tomorrow cast their votes early because they have been involved in getting ready for the space shuttle’s launch. They actually voted before they left using early voting and absentee ballots. NASA encouraged all of its employees to vote early if they had to work on Tuesday.

It is fantastic that being away from Earth didn’t cause the American astronauts to miss out on their opportunity to vote. Thank goodness for the law and the technology that allows them to send their vote in to the County election boards. What do you think about Astronauts being able to vote from space?

© Copyright: News Today Online by Kate James at Gather.com

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