Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!
If you plan to vote in the November 2020 election it is important to ACT NOW! Don’t wait, return your voted ballot right away! Remember U.S. embassies and consulates are not polling places; same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States – but you can get assistance in requesting and returning your absentee ballot. Many states require voted ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on Tuesday, November 3.
Follow a few simple steps to get started: Watch tutorial video
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.
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.
Never received your ballot:
- If you registered to vote and requested your ballot prior to your state’s registration deadline, but have not yet received your ballot, complete and return the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Send it to your county election office.
- If you requested your ballot but haven’t received it, contact your election office to ask about the status of your ballot request.
The FWAB 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.
Returning your Ballot or Voting Materials
Please note that the U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline. To allow processing time between the Department of State and the U.S. Postal Service systems, ballots must be received at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo no later than October 6, 2020. Ballots received after that date will be forwarded, but may arrive too late to be counted. Please also check the regulations in the state in which you vote as deadlines may differ, and you may have alternative voting options such as electronic voting or by fax. The above timeline is based on current local and U.S. conditions, which are subject to change. Should conditions change and impact the timeline we will alert you. We strongly recommend you submit your ballot as far in advance as possible. You may want to consider using a courier service if submitting your ballot close to or after the stated delivery time for pouch mail.
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.
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.