Orbiting cosmonauts vote in Russian polls

March 5th, 2012 - 10:20 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, March 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Three Russian cosmonauts cast their ballots for the presidential elections Sunday from the International Space Station (ISS), Russia’s Mission Control said.

Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko voted during a special communications session through their proxy while the ISS was flying over the Hawaiian Islands, the Mission Control said.

“Dmitry Zhukov, head of the Cosmonaut Training Centre’s press office, took the votes of the three ISS crewmembers from a private room, where cosmonauts normally talk to their families during flights, and filled in ballot papers and put them into the ballot box after being told how to vote by each of them,” it said.

Representatives of the Central Election Commission and the election commission of the Moscow region, where the Mission Control is located, and Russian journalists watched the voting process.

The practice of voting by proxy during work in orbit was introduced during former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev’s time in the late 1980s at the Russian orbiter Mir.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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