Does your personality influence who you voted for? The short answer is yes, no matter whether you vote Democratic or Republican. And how did the astronauts on board the ISS cast their votes? By email from space!

According to psychologist John Mayer, as Americans go to the polls in record numbers to vote for the next US president, some voters will crave social stability and others will crave social change. Liberals and conservatives divide according to these personality preferences.

Mayer says, "Our votes are an expression not only of which candidates we think are best?but also of our own way of perceiving and thinking about the world and what is good or bad about it. Our personal perceptions and thoughts in this area (and others) have been shaped over time within our personalities."

Certain personality characteristics generally influence whether a person is a liberal or a conservative.Liberals view social inequities and preferred groups as unjust and requiring reform, prefer atheists, tattoos, foreign films and poetry, endorse gay unions, welfare, universal health care, feminism and environmentalism, exhibit creativity (which entails the capacity to see solutions to problems, and empathy toward others), tolerate complexity and ambiguity and are influenced by their work as judges, social workers, professors and other careers for which an appreciation of opposing points of view is required.

Conservatives are willing to defend current social inequities and preferred groups as justifiable or necessary, prefer prayer, religious people and SUVs, endorse the US government, the military, the state they live in, big corporations and most Americans. They are more likely to be a first-born, who identify more with their parents, predisposing them to a greater investment in authority and a preference for conservatism. Despite seeming more religious, they have a fear of death, reflecting an enhanced need for security. They are conscientious, with the ability to exert personal self-control to the effect of meeting one?s own and others? demands, and maintaining personal coherence. They need simplicity, clarity and certainty.

NASA reports that Commander Edward Michael Fincke and Flight Engineer and Science Officer Greg Chamitoff, who are currently living and working onboard the International Space Station 220 miles above Earth and orbiting at 17,500 miles per hour, voted by using a secure electronic ballot, generated by the Harris and Brazoria County Clerk’s office and uplinked to them by NASA’s Johnson Space Center Mission Control Center.

The astronauts cast their votes and a secure completed ballot was then downlinked and delivered back to the County Clerk’s Office by e-mail to be officially recorded. Next, they’ll have to figure out how to celebrate Christmas.

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