Sunday, March 9, 2008


We went to the mairie at 8.00 this morning to vote. BB asked me to change out of my PETA T-shirt before we left because he said it would affect the voting, living as we do in a farming community. They're not exactly in Brigitte Bardot's corner when it comes to the treatment of animals round here. I objected but reckoned I'd better show some solidarity (reluctantly).

Although it's the first time I've voted in France I wasn't quite prepared for such rigorous protocol.

After handing over your voting card you were given an envelope. You then had to go into a booth called an isoloir (like a photo booth) one at a time, with the listes, cross out the names of the people you weren't voting for and put the listes in the envelope.

You then handed over the envelope to a man standing in front of a glass box with a lever on the side. Before placing the envelope in the box he pulled the lever, which made a sound like a cash register opening, and shouted "a voté" after dropping it in. Then you had to sign the voting register in front of the mayor.

BB tried to by-pass step two (entering the isoloir ) by putting his listes (which he had pre-prepared - which is allowed) straight into the envelope and handing it over to the bloke with the box. Well - you'd have thought he'd been caught ballot rigging judging by the reaction. He was ordered by an angry mayor to do it properly and to go into the booth and come out again with the envelope. The fact that he entered and exited straight away didn't matter - as long as he entered the booth.

It's a good job they don't know that he was canvassing yesterday (Saturday). Apparently (we found out today) it's against the law to canvass after midnight on the last Friday before an election. It's probably punishable by death.

Now we wait for the results.

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