Space: The Final Voting Frontier

Two astronauts vote from space station
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2008 5:10 PM CST
US astronaut Michael Fincke (shown here) and astronaut Greg Chamitoff voted aboard the International Space Station.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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(Newser) – Two US astronauts on the International Space Station did their civic duty from afar yesterday, casting absentee ballots from space using laptops with secure connections. Commander E. Michael Fincke and flight engineer Greg Chamitoff  are the only voters who could actually see all those red and blue states, reports Bloomberg.

The Texas legislature approved in-orbit votes in 1997, clearing the way for astronauts to join the democratic process while in space. NASA used the cosmic votes to encourage other Americans to head to the polls. "If we can vote from up here, so can you,'' Chamitoff said in a message broadcast on NASA TV.