On Nov. 3, Kate Rubins will be orbiting a cool 200 miles above Earth, but that's not preventing her from voting in the presidential election. The 41-year-old NASA astronaut is planning to cast her ballot from the International Space Station this year after embarking on a six-month mission that departs in mid-October. "I think it's really important for everybody to vote," she told The Associated Press. "If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too."
"If we can [vote] from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too."
Rubins's vote will operate similarly to an absentee ballot, but instead of being delivered via the United States Postal Service, it'll be cast electronically and forwarded from Mission Control to the county clerk for tabulation. She and other American astronauts are permitted to vote from space thanks to 1997 legislation that passed in Texas, where most astronauts hold residence. The same year the law went into effect, David Wolf became the first astronaut to vote from orbit, and years later, Rubins cast her 2016 election ballot from the space station while on her first NASA mission, during which she studied DNA sequencing. "It's critical to participate in our democracy," she said. "We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space."
See? Take it from Rubins — there are really no excuses for not participating in the upcoming election. Be sure to check your registration status here, and make a concrete voting plan ahead of time, whether you're casting your ballot in person or via mail.