Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Last Sunday we had local elections here and it was my and my husbands first time that we could vote in France. I had been rather puzzled by my poling card as it didn't mention when the vote was; you're just supposed to keep your eye on the news. I could have done some more research before heading out, but where is the fun in that. Learning the language is so much more challenging when you know nothing and have to ask questions to do the right thing. (Well that's my excuse for being ill informed.)
We turned up at the poling station excitedly waving our polling cards at the friendly volunteers. They requested ID which we duly produced. Then we were directed to a table with a flyer for each candidate with a bemused smile.
'this isn't a very secret ballot' protested I.
The volunteer explained with a patient smile which he normally reserves for a not too bright child, that I had to take one of each, go behind the curtain and pick one, put it in the envelop provided and discard or take home the rest. I did as asked and put my vote in the ballot box. My chest swelled with good citizenship. We both got our polling card stamped with a date. This led to much hilarity as we speculated what would happen next.
Is the exit poll the Binbag? Does someone count the discarded flyers? (That's 80 times not you mate:))
The next round of voting is on the 30th do we get to vote again? Is it going to be a run off between the top 3 candidates?
The poling card has 12 boxes, do I get to vote more than once?
If I fill up my card do I get a free Pizza?
If I get to vote once for local and once for European elections, does this mean I have to hold on to this card for 24 years (assuming we vote once every 2 years)?
If I lose this card, do I lose my right to vote?
I promise I'll grill a french colleague before the polls open again on the 30th of March, but for the moment I like the option of voting 12 times and getting a free Pizza.