Interstellar Voting: The Astronauts Have Cast Ballots – From Space. So What’s Your Excuse?

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From the Great Lakes to the Big Apple, from the prairies to Low Earth Orbit, it’s election day in the U.S.A. (via AP)

2010 was the year of a different brand of space exploration, as NASA brought us the first interstellar tweet. Now it’s the year of the extra-planetary vote. Thanks to a bill passed by Texas legislators back in 1997, astronauts can vote from orbit, and this week three of them did just that.

(Watch the wildest election videos: The 25 craziest moments of the 2010 campaign)

Astronaut Doug Wheelock, who also has the honor of being the first person to check in on Foursquare from the cosmos, cast his ballot alongside colleagues Shannon Walker and Scott Kelly from the International Space Station, 220 miles above the Earth.

Voting from space involves a complex, secure e-mail system which beams the votes back down to Earth, though there’s no word yet on whether Google’s new vote mapping technology aided in moving the space ballots from Mission Control to the local polling station.

It takes a huge amount of effort and collaboration to vote from the sky. So really, there’s now no excuse for Earthlings to not make like an astronaut and vote.

— By Amanda Julius