“Voted!” : overseas and abroad, the presidential elections have already started

In metropolitan France you have to wait 8 hours before you can put your ballot in the ballot box. But overseas and abroad, the vote for the first round of the French presidential election started this Saturday. As required by law, the results will not be officially known until 8 p.m. on Sunday evening.

St-Pierre-et-Miquelon got the ball rolling at 8pm (afternoon in Paris), followed by Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy. Then came the Pacific, with Polynesia voting in Paris at 8 p.m., as well as Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia. In the Indian Ocean, where the time difference is smaller, Reunion will vote at 6 a.m. Paris time and Mayotte at 7 a.m. on Sunday.

In North America, French living abroad also voted on Saturday, most notably in New York, Los Angeles or even at the French embassy in Washington, where four offices were set up for the occasion. A short passage in the blue-white-red voting booth and the traditional “voted! ‘, the embassy officials said.

Long wait in Montreal

Even if she has lived in the United States for over 25 years, Nathalie Depastas would have missed this election appointment for nothing in the world. “I wonder which puppet I will have at the head of the country,” laughs this specialist in oriental medicine, based in the US state of Virginia. Her choice this Saturday was “clear”, assures the woman in glasses, who is keen to choose someone who “has the interests of France at heart”.

In Montreal, where thousands of people rushed to 8 a.m., Esther Sei, 26, once the polls opened, said she “took time to read all the programs, watch programs and especially HugoDeciphers’s to decide” . In the morning, the ground floor of the Palais des Congrès in the city, where the voting took place, was packed with the sixty volunteers recruited by the consulate to organize the queues.

At noon local time, the French consulate in Montreal estimated that you had to wait about two and a half hours to vote. More than 67,000 French are registered in the French-speaking metropolis, 10,000 more than in the last presidential election.

Other French living abroad were not given the chance to vote: those who live in Shanghai are not allowed to go outside because China’s largest city has been locked up in the name of China’s zero-covid strategy.

Silence until 8 pm.

In France, surgical masks will be available in all polling stations† Wearing it is not mandatory, but “highly recommended” for vulnerable people and those who have recently tested positive for Covid-19. Vulnerable people can also request priority access.

Voters must choose between the 12 candidates, who will be held with the utmost discretion until the close of the vote, which promises to be tight between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, with favorites as in 2017, with Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the lookout. The new element is the high percentage of undecided voterswhich according to political scientist Pascal Perrineau creates a “significant” uncertainty in the vote.

The National Election Campaign Control Commission and the Election Commission also called on voters on Friday to “be very careful” after the SMS broadcast call polls that aren’t polls and “which may constitute misleading information”. Awaiting the first results Sunday at 8 p.m., public gatherings, distribution of leaflets and digital propaganda are prohibited

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