Almost all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who reside outside the United States are eligible to vote absentee for candidates for federal offices in U.S. primary and general elections. Some states allow overseas citizens to vote for candidates for state and local offices, as well as for state and local referendums. For information regarding your specific state, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide.
Get in the Habit of Registering each year
Everyone who wants to vote in U.S. elections from overseas should send in a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to their county election office each year. States are no longer required to automatically send ballots to voters for an entire election cycle.
We recommend overseas U.S. citizens get in the habit of completing FPCAs every year. You should include your email address on the form so it’s easier for your election officials to reach you if there is a problem. If you request electronic delivery and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections and generally 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices. Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer a means of tracking the status of your registration and ballot.
Visit USA.gov to learn about the Presidential election process, including information about primaries, presidential caucuses, delegates, national conventions, and the Electoral College.
Step 1: Register to vote and request your ballot in one easy step.
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.
Step 2: Fill out and send in your ballot.
Vote and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Check the deadline for your ballot based on your state.
Returning your Ballot or Voting Materials
Many states now allow electronic ballot requests as well as electronic ballot return. If you prefer to use the mail or are required by your state, you may drop off your ballot/ballot request at the Embassy in Oslo for delivery to your local U.S. election officials. Generally, you should do so at least one month before the receipt deadline (see FVAP.gov) to ensure timely delivery. Please follow the instructions provided by your local U.S. elections official and enclose all items in an envelope addressed to your local elections official and with the postage prepaid markings.
Using the Diplomatic Pouch
The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. If you wish to mail or drop off your ballot, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it in either a U.S. postage paid envelope (provided with the ballot) or an envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials.
Drop-Off Ballots for the Diplomatic Pouch
Voting materials may be dropped off at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo 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. You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities
Mailing Ballots to the Embassy for the Diplomatic Pouch
You may also mail ballots via Norwegian Post to the Embassy at the address below, then we will forward these to the United States to be delivered to your election office.
You need two envelopes. Address the first envelope to the Embassy at the postal address at the bottom of the page. Address the second envelope to your local state election office and enclose your FPCA or ballot inside. The second envelope needs to be postage-paid or have sufficient U.S. postage to be delivered to your local election office from the U.S. sorting facility where it will be mailed. Seal the second envelope, place it inside the first envelope, and mail the package to the U.S. Embassy in Oslo.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.