Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and her orbiting voting booth. Photo: NASA

One vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election wasn’t cast from a voting booth or by mail, but from 250 miles up aboard the International Space Station.

The big picture: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is far from the first person to exercise her civic duty from orbit. Cosmonauts and astronauts have voted from space for decades.

  • "I think it's really important for everybody to vote, and if we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too," Rubins told the AP last month.

How it works: Astronauts in space can vote by receiving an encrypted ballot from mission control. They then fill out the ballot and send it back to Earth, where it's sent to a registrar who converts the electronic ballot and counts the vote.

  • That process is possible because Texas passed a law making it legal for residents of the state to vote from orbit.
  • No other states have this law on the books, but all active NASA astronauts need to live near Houston, so the Texas law is effectively a catch-all for Americans heading to space right now.

Background: The first people to vote from space were Russian cosmonauts aboard the space station Mir, according to space historian Robert Pearlman.

  • "Yury Usachov and Yuri Onufrienko were aboard Mir with American astronaut Shannon Lucid. In June of 1996, the two of them voted in the Russian presidential election that year," said Pearlman, who runs the website Collectspace.com.
  • NASA astronaut David Wolf then voted in a local election from Mir in 1997.
  • And NASA's Leroy Chiao became the first American to cast a vote for president from orbit aboard the ISS in 2004.

What's next: Eventually, space voting laws might have to be adopted elsewhere in the U.S., if private astronauts are going to be living and working in space for the long haul.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jan 26, 2021 - Science

What to know about the Moon rock in Biden's Oval Office

The Moon rock now in the Oval Office. Photo: NASA

President Joe Biden hasn't revealed much about his space policy priorities yet, but space fans can take heart that space is on his mind, thanks to an Apollo Moon rock that now decorates the Oval Office.

Why it matters: The Moon rock — loaned to the White House by NASA — is on display "in symbolic recognition of earlier generations’ ambitions and accomplishments, and support for America’s current Moon to Mars exploration approach," according to a statement from NASA.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.