Sunday, 22 April 2007

...a voté

So I did it. I voted in my first French election. Before I went to the polling station, Jérôme gave me quick runthrough of how the voting works. I don't think he realized how different it is from the US. envelopes? paper ballots?

When I got to the polling station - clad in my running clothes - I followed the signs. There was a first table by the door in the voting room. On the first part of the table, there was a pile of ballots with each candidates name on it; the second part of the table had a bunch of blue envelopes marked "Republique Française".

I showed my ID card and carte electorale to the woman. And she made a head signal. So I said, um, this is my first time. She told me to take a ballot from each pile and an envelope, to go into the isoloire (voting booth) and put the chosen candidate in the envelope. I was able to grab a single ballot for all the candidates but the Sarko papers were sticking together and I had trouble unsticking them (hope this isn't foreshadowing).

I did that and then looked helpless again so she showed me where to go. I chose a voting booth and, as I shuffled through the ballots looking for my preferred candidate, I had an all encompassing urge to spit on Le Pen's name so I went with it.

Having put my ballot in the envelope, and checking twice to make sure I had chosen the right one, I stood in line behind another table. When it was my turn, I gave my ID card and electorale card to the president of the polling station who was standing behind a glass box with a lever on top. She said "last name, Reb......" and beckoned me to the left so I could sign my name in the registration book. she told me to tuck the tab into the envelope so it didn't get caught. I then placed my envelope on the slot by the lever, she pulled it, a bell rang, and she said "a voté" (has voted). She then stamped my card and asked if I'd come back fro the depliment tonight. Not knowing what that meant, I said no. Jerome said it was to count the ballots, they need volunteers. maybe for the next round since now I know how it works.

Funny, but it felt so much more real that when I voted in the US. I felt all nervous and shaky too. My in-laws invited us over for a picnic in front of the election results, we had to decline but I think we'll do our weekly Sunday night pizza in front of the TV tonight. I think I may also have to get some alcohol to dull the pain...

2 comments:

MM said...

God your so lucky that you can vote...I just have to sit back and watch who will be chosen to rule over the country of me and my little un...though I feel I too will be knocking back a couple to numb the pain..don't think its going to be favourable...though maybe we'll be pleasantly suprised....

Deb said...

Good for you! NJ representin'! ;o)

At least Le Pen can't run again (which is great!), but I hear his daughter may look to run in the future, and that she is even worse!

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