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Here's How Votes Are Cast From Space

"... he was actually on a foreign space station."

It's the ultimate absentee ballot: a vote to be cast by astronauts in space. But given that intergalactic snail mail hasn't quite been established, how to those in space send in their vote.

(Photo: AP/NASA TV)

Live Science reports NASA spokesman Jay Bolden with the Johnson Space Center saying the astronauts send their votes in a secure ballot directly to mission control.

Here's a bit of history for how this voting technique was established:

This system was made possible by a 1997 bill passed by Texas legislators (nearly all NASA astronauts live in or around Houston). It was first used that same year by David Wolf, who happened to be aboard Russia's Mir space station at the time.

"You think about being in a foreign country and voting — he was actually on a foreign space station," Bolden told

Wolf participated in a local election in 1997. The first American to vote in a presidential election from space was Leroy Chiao, who did it while commanding the International Space Station's Expedition 10 mission in 2004. (The first crew arrived at the $100 billion orbiting lab in November 2000.)

The two Americans on the International Space Station actually ended up voting while they were stationed in Russia before being launched into space.

(H/T: Gizmodo)

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