Can Astronauts Vote in Space?

Can astronauts cast their vote from the International Space Station (ISS)? originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Clayton C. Anderson, 2-time ISS astronaut; 6 spacewalks, 30-yr NASA employee (retired 2013), Author, on Quora:

Astronauts most certainly can cast their vote from the International Space Station (ISS). As a matter of fact, I did just that in 2007! And making voting from space even more cool (at least to me anyway) is the fact that my beautiful bride Susan H. Anderson, was the person who made it happen --way back in the Shuttle/Mir days!

Astronaut David Wolf (an Indiana native, but Texas resident at the time) was the first U.S. Astronaut to cast his vote from space. A resident on the Russian Mir space station during the voting cycle, his ability to cast his vote from space rode on the pen of then-Texas Governor George W. Bush. My wife led a NASA team of individuals who developed the protocols needed to ensure the space flier voting process maintained appropriate privacy, and allowed orbiting U.S. citizens an easy way to cast their ballots. Files are encrypted, and the process tightly controlled, minimizing the number of "earthlings" that need to be involved. A story to check out ran on the National Journal, penned by Alex Brown (@alexbrownnj).

In 2007, when I exercised my voting rights as a citizen --a bit removed from my local polling venue-- the ballot I cast focused on local/municipal statutes and no big ticket contests for a high profile office.
As we head quickly toward the time when many Americans will be narrowing down personal choices to vote in local, state, and national elections, let us remember that voting is a right we are granted by our Constitution. Make your vote count, every single time. Not registered to vote? What the heck are you waiting for? Keep lookin' up!

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