• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Astronauts have voted in the 2016 US elections

Even if you’re outside the USA, citizens can still vote in elections. But what if you’re not even on the planet? Well, you get voting rights too.

Astronauts have been able to cast their votes from space since a law was brought into place in 1997, NASA explained in a post.

“For 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,” the space agency elaborated.

Astronauts have been able to vote in the US elections since the Mir space station was still a thing

NASA adds that the first instance of space voting took place in 1997, the same year the law was passed.

“NASA astronaut David Wolf became the first American to vote in space while on the Russian Mir Space Station. Current (international) space station resident astronaut Shane Kimbrough is the most recent astronaut to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Fellow US astronaut Kate Rubins also filled out her ballot before returning to Earth late last month.

Featured image: Kjell Lindgren/NASA

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

More in Space Technology

SpaceX set for December return to launchpad?

Read More »