US Elections 2020: NASA Astronaut 'Kate Rubins' Plans To Cast Her Vote From ISS

 - Sakshi Post

NASA astronaut Kathleen Hallisey Kate Rubins is planning to cast her vote for the 2020 presidential election from the International Space Station. She is currently residing just outside Moscow in Star City, Russia. Rubins along with the other two astronauts are preparing for a six-month stay at the ISS. The space station is 200 miles away, orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. Speaking to a news agency, she said, “I think it’s really important for everybody to vote. If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too.”

A bill passed by the Texas legislature in 1997 created the technological voting procedure for astronauts, all of who reside in Texas, and granted them the right to vote remotely from space. Astronauts Edward Michael Fincke and Greg Chamitoff, who were living and working aboard the ISS, cast their votes in the 2016 presidential election by accessing a safe secret ballot.

In the past, many NASA astronauts cast their votes from space. In the 2016 presidential election, Kate Rubins and her fellow astronaut Shane Kimbrough cast their ballots from International Space Station.

The rule states that, “The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shall submit in writing to the Secretary of State a method of transmitting and receiving a secret ballot for persons on a space flight during an election period.”

The voting process begins a year before launch, according to a blog post published by NASA, when astronauts are expected to choose which elections either local or state or federal they want to take part in while in space. Following this, astronauts are issued with a regular form called the "Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request-Federal Post Card Application" six months before the elections.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum explained in 2018, "Using a set of unique credentials sent to each of them by e-mail, astronauts can access their ballots, cast their votes, and downlink them back down to Earth. They can view their ballots in this way and can downlink them back to Earth to the county clerk's office after casting their vote."

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