Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Voting In France.

Written By: Hameem Hussain (France)

The main point of this article is to sort out how many efforts are still required to reach the other side.
It was last year in May. I voted for the first time. My entry in politics.

First of all, to cast vote you pay a visit to city hall for subscription on polling list. Then few days before elections you receive by mail your electoral card bearing the address of polling station, and bio data of voter such as name, age, registration number... Usually a city have three to four polling station. They are located at walking distance. Mine was a main hall of a primary school.

When you enter a person asks for your ID card, checks your age and address then gives you a blue envelope. You move to candidate name bearing papers and enter in isolating booth. There you put in the envelope the paper mentioning  name of person you want to be elected and you hide others in your pocket or elsewhere. You join the line where one person checks your name in electoral register, your electoral card number, and makes you sign next to your name. He/She takes your ID card and electoral card, you place your envelope on the aperture slide. The second person actions a liver connected to a counter and which opens the transparent ballot box slide. He says aloud when your envelope drops in the ballot box : "A voté ! ". The first person gives you back your cards and says goodbye. 

As it was my first time, and was super  excited, I went early in the morning few after polling station opened to cast my vote, they were still looking for people to count votes in the evening. I was to leave when they asked if I was interested to come back counting at 20h00. It was holidays and my curiosity lead me to answer positively.
At 20h00 last voters finished voting. The President of our polling station announced that if everybody have voted here we were ready to count. He locked the door of polling station and in front of common people like me and you, opened ballot box surrounded by only people mentioned on his protocol paper. They regrouped envelopes by hundred and compared the final figure to signatures on electoral register and counter of ballot box. In case of error they recount till they find what is going wrong. They signaled by a call to city hall how many votes have been casted out of how many subscribed. If I remember it well our figure was 699 envelopes for 700 on ballot box counter. With only one error.
Then we installed chairs and tables like below.

Counters were divided by groups of four. On each table we were given a packet of hundred envelopes. we recounted it. Then the first one opened envelopes and delivered the paper to second one. The later spoke aloud the name of candidate and two others with a sheet each drew a line below candidate name. every time you passed a decade for a candidate you make sure your neighbour has done the same. Otherwise you have to recount already opened envelopes for each candidate to address the error. If you get a blank vote you signal it to staff supervising your table who signaled to the President of polling station. When a hundred is counted. 

You change the color of pen and restart the same process. When all the envelopes have been counted on the table and there no envelopes left, counters and table supervisor sign a paper and it's given to President. When all tables are done with counting all the results are summed and president calls the city hall to communicate figures for each candidate. That's how counting séance ends. President unlocks the door. we are free to leave. Results sheet and signed papers are driven to city hall I do not remember if they are sealed or not.

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