This Astronaut Voted from the International Space Station

Defying their earthly limits not prevent many astronauts exercise their civic duties.

Andrew Morgan cast an early vote from space last month to participate in an election in Pennsylvania, according to NASA.

According to his official biography, Morgan is a doctor who was selected to join the astronaut corps in 2013 and completed his training in 2015. He is now aboard the space station as a flight engineer for several expeditions.

Morgan, the father of four children, believes that New Castle, about 55 miles north of Pittsburgh, is his city. And he voted early for the elections held on Tuesday.

Ed Allison, who heads the voter registry for Lawrence County, told CNN that Morgan sent what is called a federal postcard application. Election officials sent Morgan a ballot by email and gave him a strong password to open it. He chose and returned it on October 10.

“We secured the ballot and it will be counted on Friday,” Allison said.

In a publication on Tumblr, NASA noted that a Texas bill passed in 1997 made it possible to vote from space.

That bill, signed by then-Governor George W. Bush, came to fruition because most astronauts live in the state of the lone star (Texas), says NASA.

For many, the process of voting from space begins approximately one year before takeoff, when astronauts select in which elections they wish to vote from above.

They complete the postcard application, an absentee ballot request form, approximately six months later and when the time comes, they establish a secure connection with the county clerk’s office, as Morgan did last month.

‘Heavenly vows’ have been cast in almost every election cycle.

David Wolf became the first astronaut to vote from space when he cast his vote aboard the Mir Space Station in Russia. In 2004, Leroy Chiao voted from space, NASA said.

Michael López-Alegría did it in 2006, and Greg Chamitoff and Mike Fincke followed their civic duty in 2008.

In 2010, astronauts Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Scott Kelly voted from the International Space Station.

“It felt like an honor and a privilege to exercise our rights as US citizens from the International Space Station,” Kelly said at the time.



Source: CNN