Voting

Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!

Americans can vote in U.S. elections from anywhere in the world.  Do you want to vote absentee?  Follow a few simple steps to get started:    Watch tutorial video

Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and send it to your election office.

Be sure to include your email address so that your election office can easily reach you in case there is a problem.

Your voting residence (the U.S. state or territory where you are registering to vote) is likely your legal residence. Here’s how to determine your voting residence.

Using the FPCA ensures that your state will send your ballot to you at least 45 days before the election — a protection not guaranteed when using other forms.  It’s a good idea to send in a new FPCA every January and each time you move.

For the general election, you should receive your ballot by early October.

Vote and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it.  Check the deadline for your ballot based on your state. The recommended vote-by day for the 2020 General Election is October 13, 2020 if you’re outside the U.S.

If you requested your ballot but haven’t received it, contact your election office to ask about the status of your ballot request.

If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Send it to your county election office.

It works like a backup ballot.  If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.  After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office

Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not.   If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy in Oslo’s diplomatic pouch.  The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility.  You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities.

If you plan to use the diplomatic pouch, voting materials may be dropped off Monday through Friday between 8am and 3pm at the main embassy entrance, Morgedalsvegen 36, 0378 Oslo.  The guards outside will accept the FPCA or ballot envelope.  The person dropping off the envelope must present a valid I.D. and wait until the envelope has been scanned before leaving.  Please note that it may take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by diplomatic pouch.  All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to follow the instructions from their own voting state and submit their forms and ballots accordingly.  Ballots will be received and forwarded whenever submitted but you may want to consider using a courier service if submitting your ballot close to or after the stated delivery time for pouch mail.

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Go to the FVAP links page for helpful resources to aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).

If you have any questions about registering to vote from overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Oslo’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteOslo@state.gov.