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04.11.2008 US & Canada

Astronauts To Vote From Space

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While most Americans will flock to the pools today to cast their vote for the next U.S. president, two U.S. citizens will beam their ballots down from the international Space Station as they fly 220 miles (354km) above Earth.

Like all U.S. spaceflyers since 1997, NASA astronauts Michael Fincke and Gregory Chamitoff can vote in their local and national elections thanks to a handy Texas state law that ensures their ballots can be counted, even from space.

“So I'm going to exercise my privilege as a citizen and actually vote from space on Election Day,” Fincke, the space station's Expedition 18 commander, told before he left Earth.

“I think the candidates this year are exciting in and of themselves.  But hopefully we get people to realise what a privilege it is, and they exercise and get a chance to vote.”