The French have been called to vote in the first round of the presidential election on Sunday, April 10. Polling stations open at 8 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. The ballot box is very secure and the activities of the polling booths are highly regulated by the electoral code. Franceinfo outlines key points that ensure the credibility of the election.
The structure of a polling station is very precise, with a small number of people. Once the office is open, they have to show up. There is a president who oversees the day’s running smoothly. He is assisted by at least two evaluators and a secretary. Throughout the day, there should be at least two members in this office at all times. If there are no hands at the polls, voters can be called. They are selected according to age, from the youngest to the oldest.
In municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, a regulatory authority has been set up. Representatives are sent to the offices and if crime, abuse or fraud is noticed they can confiscate the public prosecutor. The fraud carries a one-year prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros, double if the offender is a civil servant.
It must meet certain criteria: transparent, one opening and two locks. One of the keys is given to the head of the office, the other is handed to the appraiser, drawn by slip in the morning. If the ballot box is occasionally full, it will not be emptied during the day, but will be locked in the ballot box and replaced with a second one. At the end of the day, the ballot box is opened and the envelopes are counted. The total should match the number of voters on the attendance sheet.
The last step is counting. This part of the ballot is also very structured. The counting of votes is carried out in public by the observers who are the voters of the municipality. They may be nominated by candidates or may be non-political citizens.
A desk has at least four: the first takes the ballot from the envelope, the second reads it aloud, and the other two write the results. Upon completion of this double score, the head of the office announces the results centrally and he immediately sends them to the province.
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