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Astronauts to Vote in Space

30 Sep 2020, 17:26 UTC
Astronauts to Vote in Space
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SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Americans exercise their right to vote from all over the world, and for November’s election, few ballots will have traveled as far as those cast by NASA astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station. During earlier days of human spaceflight, astronauts would only visit space for days, or maybe weeks, at a time. Today, astronauts typically stay in space for six-month missions on the space station, increasing the odds of a spacefarer off the planet during an election. So how does one vote from space?

How it Works

Like other forms of absentee voting, voting from space starts with a Federal Postcard Application, or FPCA. It’s the same form military members and their families fill out while serving outside of the U.S. By completing it ahead of their launch, space station crew members signal their intent to participate in an election from space.

Because astronauts move to Houston for their training, most opt to vote as Texas residents. Of course, NASA’s astronauts come from all over, so those wishing to vote as residents of their home states can work with ...

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