On September 11, 2023, Norway will be holding its municipal and county council elections, commonly known as "Kommunestyre- og fylkestingsvalget 2023." These elections are your opportunity to have a say in the local governance and policies affecting your community. Even if you are a foreign resident in Norway, you might be eligible to vote. This comprehensive guide aims to walk you through the steps, requirements, and important dates to remember for casting your vote as a foreigner in Norway.
Voting is an invaluable way to have a say in policies affecting your everyday life, from public services to community development. This guide provides all the information you'll need to exercise your democratic rights.
Eligibility Criteria: Who Can Vote?
To cast your vote, you must:
✓ Be 18 years of age or older by the end of 2023.
✓ Norwegian citizenship and reside in Norway.
✓ Nordic citizenship (from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, or Iceland) and have registered as living in Norway by June 30, 2023.
✓ Foreign citizenship with at least three consecutive years of residency in Norway.
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Preparing to Vote: Electoral Roll and Voting Card
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you should be automatically added to the electoral roll. However, for those who have recently moved, ensure you notified the Central Population Register — FOLKEREGISTER by June 30, 2023. Before election day, you will receive a Voting Card — VALGKORT to your official digital mailbox — DIGIPOST or E-BOKS. This card contains crucial information such as the location of your polling station and is highly recommended to bring along. Although it's not mandatory to bring this card, you should bring a valid photo ID.
Types of Valid IDs:
✓ Norwegian Bank Card with a photo
✓ Norwegian Driver's License
✓ European National ID Card
Polling Stations: What to Know
Polling stations are usually located in public facilities like schools, community centers, or municipal buildings. You can find the nearest polling station by:
✓ Checking the information on your Valgkort on your box in the public website Altinn.no
✓ Visiting valglokaler.no, where you can search for polling stations by municipality.
✓ Contacting your local municipal office.
How to Vote: Step-By-Step
Early and Advance Voting: For those who have already cast an early or advance vote, your civic duty is complete! Early voting took place from July 3 to August 9, and advance voting from August 10 to September 8.
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Step 1: Locate your polling station (refer to your Valgkort or visit valglokaler.no for information).
Step 2: Bring your photo ID (and Valgkort, if possible).
Step 3: Select the appropriate ballots for the municipal and/or county council elections.
Step 4: Mark any personal votes for specific candidates if you wish.
Step 5: Make sure an election official stamps your ballots.
Step 6: Drop your stamped ballots into the ballot box.
Voting from Abroad
For Norwegians and eligible foreign residents who are abroad, the voting period at Norwegian embassies or designated locations was from July 1 to September 1.
Individuals in healthcare institutions or prisons without ID can have a staff member vouch for their identity.
Those with confidential addresses will receive unique instructions from the National Criminal Investigation Service (KRIPOS).
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As a foreign resident in Norway, your voice is crucial in shaping community policies and local governance. Don't miss the opportunity to exercise your democratic rights in the municipal and county council elections. Happy voting!
For more information, consult your local municipal office or refer to official online resources www.valg.no.
Remember, your vote is your voice—make it count!