Vote by Internet? The Republic on the move believes in it but… for the presidential election of 2027. This is one of the projects that the party could carry during the next campaign. But in the meantime, in a hundred days, it is the regional ones and there, elected officials from both the right and the left are accusing the government of lacking initiatives to organize them under the best conditions.
Next week, the Assembly will vote on the bill on the postponement of this election in June. However, during this period, the health situation may still be complicated, particularly because of the variants. How then to avoid abstention in the ballot box, like that recorded during the last municipal elections? Several parliamentarians during the examination in the Senate and in the Committee on Laws in the Assembly this week made proposals.
Maine-et-Loire deputy Matthieu Orphelin (ex-LREM) notably suggested testing advance voting in voluntary municipalities. ” In Portugal (Editor’s note: where a presidential election was held it was 3 weeks old), 5% of the votes are done in this way, it is not nothing. In Canada it also works ”, he pleads. But his amendment was not retained. “I will rephrase it during the debate, explains Matthieu Orphelin,” we are almost 120 days before the poll, it would be an opportunity to test things. “
“A minimum service law”
Same regret on the PS side. “Why not take advantage of this crisis to improve things, to facilitate the holding of reassuring elections”, asks the deputy of Sarthe Marietta Karamanli. “We will have a minimum service law which will be a simple law of postponement”, adds his colleague from the Senate Patrick Kanner. For the elected representative of the North, if the government has ended up accepting that the regional meetings take place in June, the lack of proposals to hold the ballot is “sabotage”. “I admit having a doubt about their sincerity, blows the Socialist. I hope that this is not a way of preparing their element of language before an announced defeat: the abstention will be such that they will say that this ballot does not have value of test before the presidential one… ”
No suspicion of bad faith on the side of the majority, but there too are regrets. Laurianne Rossi, LREM MP, had asked the Commission to authorize again the communities to equip themselves with voting machines. According to their defenders, these machines are safe, electorally speaking and also from a health point of view since they would be cleaned with each passage. And above all, with them, no need for a counting session bringing together several people in a small enclosed space. But again the amendment was ruled inadmissible.
“We cannot technically make all these changes in a secure way”
The idea of postal voting has also been swept away for several months by the Minister of the Interior. Among other arguments, Gérald Darmanin put forward the impossibility of ensuring the free choice of each citizen who, outside the voting booth, may be subject to family pressure. Another argument is the impossibility of organizing a postal vote when the two rounds of the election are held only one week apart.
“They don’t want to try anything as if abstention was inevitable,” regrets an elected member of the majority. “Darmanin is especially afraid of turning his back on his administration if he opens his sites, he cannot lead all the battles head-on”, another excuses. False, we answer Place Beauvau. “The opposition knows very well, this type of modification could only be discussed in a draft organic law,” explains one in the entourage of Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship. It is not a debate that we can have in three months, and in the midst of a pandemic we cannot technically make all these changes in a secure manner ”.
The government is doing everything to ensure that the French are not worried about going to vote. The text proposes to facilitate the use of powers of attorney. Wearing a mask will be compulsory, hydroalcoholic gel must be made available and the number of voters present simultaneously in the polling station will be limited to three people.
The only small victory obtained by the supporters of a change, the adoption of the amendment of the member of the Modem of Hauts-de-Seine Isabelle Florennes. The latter asked the government for a report on the possibility of generalizing the use of voting machines for municipalities which so wish. This study will be well submitted but in October… ie after the regional ones.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr