early and often

American Astronaut Votes From a Safe Distance

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, space voter. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak/Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

If you’re feeling stressed about making your way to the polls on Tuesday, take a minute to think of Shane Kimbrough.

Astronaut Kimbrough — the only American currently in space — managed to cast his ballot while floating 250 miles above Earth. Although, to be fair, he didn’t have to find parking.

NASA confirmed on Monday that Kimbrough had successfully voted via a “secure electronic ballot” sent from the County Clerk’s office directly to Mission Control and then on to the International Space Station where the astronaut has resided since late October. He predetermined which elections he wanted to vote in while still on Earth.

If you’re curious which candidate managed to snag the coveted spaceman vote, Kimbrough isn’t telling. In fact, he says he is pretty much “apolitical,” but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think it’s exciting to have voted from space.

While Kimbrough is the only American currently off-planet, he is not the only American to have voted from space during this election. Astronaut Kate Rubins headed to the electronic polls early, voting from space before heading back to Earth on October 30.

Even 20 years ago, both astronauts would have been out of luck. It wasn’t until a Texas law was passed in 1997 that astronauts were legally permitted to vote from space at all. Astronaut David Wolf — something of a space suffrage pioneer — became the first American to vote from space that very same year from aboard the Russian space station Mir.

American Astronaut Votes From a Safe Distance