As the USA gets ready for a nail-biting election on Tuesday, two American astronauts orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour have already cast their votes from space. And where are we standing for the election 2018??

According to NASA, astronaut Shane Kimbrough has officially filed his electronic absentee ballot from the International Space Station (ISS). Another astronaut Kate Rubins cast her ballot before returning to Earth last week.

Thanks to a bill passed by Texas legislatures in 1997 that put in place a technical voting procedure for astronauts, the two astronauts – residents of Houston where the Johnson Space Centre is located voted while in orbit.

For astronauts, the voting process starts a year before launch when they can select which elections (local/state/federal) that they want to participate in while in space. Then, six months before the election, astronauts are provided with a standard form: the “Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request – Federal Post Card Application”, the US space agency said in a statement.

If you ever feel like getting to your local polling place and waiting in lines before work is a challenge, just know this: It’s a far more complicated process from space. “Space voting” was first used the same year it was implemented in 1997. NASA astronaut David Wolf became the first American to vote in space while on the Russian Mir Space Station.

Shane Kimbrough: NASA

Current space station resident astronaut Shane Kimbrough is the most recent astronaut to take advantage of the opportunity. While astronauts do not have to wait in line for his ballot like the rest of us, there is one disadvantage to voting in space: they miss out on the highly coveted “I Voted” sticker!

This is where the world is heading and we still on earth blaming each other of rigging. When will the politicians come to the table and get the things going about the elections reforms? Why PTI and other politicians just resort to the streets, if we have the parliament why can’t we use the forum?

Protesters with placards about election rigging in Pakistan.
Protesters with placards about election rigging in Pakistan.

All the modern world do the same; we are living in a democratic world where the public gives the mandate to the elected representatives and they serve them, it’s highly important that mandate not gets stolen. When all the parties raise slogans for democracy to prevail, their keen interest should be the reforms in our centuries old elections system. See the example of USA presidential elections where two astronauts cast their vote from the space, can’t we do the same for the earth? I want my vote to be mine.


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