Voting from space is one thing.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins cast her presidential election on Thursday from within the boundaries of the International Space Station (ISS) without standing in line and without a voting booth nearby.
A photo posted on the NASA Astronauts Twitter account shows Rubins in front of a pen and paper sign that says "ISS Voting Booth," on the outside of a small booth, and for all we know, can also serve as a bathroom. A comment with the tweet reads, "From the International Space Station: I voted today."
From the International Space Station: I voted today
– Kate Rubins pic.twitter.com/DRdjwSzXwy
– NASA astronauts (@NASA_Astronauts) October 22, 2020
Like other Americans outside the US, Rubins was able to vote on the postal voting system.
In her case, after a federal postcard application was approved, a secure electronic ballot was created and emailed (with crew member specifics) by the clerk's office in Harris County – the location of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas) to the Astronauts. With these credentials, Rubins was able to access the secure voting slip.
Once you have cast your vote, the secure, completed ballot will be emailed to the County Clerk's office for formal registration.
"The employee has his own password to ensure that he is the only one who can open the ballot," explains NASA on its website.
The space agency notes that because astronauts move to Houston for training, most of them choose to live in Texas. However, other precautions can be taken if a NASA astronaut wishes to elect to be a resident of his home state on the ISS.
"The legislation was passed several years ago to allow astronauts to vote in space," said Rubins in a video that was taped before setting off for her six-month stint on the ISS earlier this month. "I think a lot of astronauts do this, they think it's very important. It's important to participate in our democracy. We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space. So we fill out a form and vote by post . "
She added, "I think it's really important that everyone votes and if we can get it out of space then I believe that people can do it from the ground too."
Oddly enough, this is not the first time Rubins has voted from space as she was also on board the ISS during the 2016 elections (don't worry, she was home in between).