“I don’t want to follow your instructions” – Liberation

Presidential Election 2022dossier

Before the presidential election, many French people turn to the proxy to exercise their voting rights. But can they really trust their loved ones?

What if my brother asks me to vote for Marine Le Pen on his behalf while I support the radical left? Conversely, can I trust my mother, who is convinced of Valérie Pécresse, if my vote falls to the Greens? In France, power of attorney is the act by which a voter authorizes another person to vote in his place. It is the only exception to the confidential vote stipulated by the Constitution. The entrustment of the newsletter is the (ultimate) proof of a relationship of trust.

But some have paid the price of an unexpected betrayal. In 2017, Léo was entered into the electoral roll of his hometown in southern France. He studies in the Paris region and gives power of attorney to his father. “I told him I was going to choose Hamon, but I don’t know if I was firm enough,” he begins. On the Sunday of the first ballot, his representative, François Fillon, will be elected. “The same day I was unavailable when he asked me to confirm, lion temperament. In the absence of an answer, he voted on his conviction. But I think he did it without valuing the act. This time Leo has anticipated and re-enrolled in his new city. “If we have to find a person with the same opinion, there is a problem. Online voting is the system I would like to have.”

The authorized representative cannot be legally prosecuted if he inserts a ballot paper into the ballot box that differs from the voting intention. “I can walk out of a polling station and say I voted x when I voted y. There is absolutely no way to verify this. Everything happens on the basis of trust, which is why the principal freely chooses his agent. mention, that release Attorney and Doctor of Public Law David Girard.

“There are things of general interest”

For the first round of the presidential election on Sunday, Lola (1) decided to trust her father: “We had lunch together and I said to him: It’s possible that it’s Mélenchon. But for him it is impossible to put that name in the ballot box. Now I fear he will vote for Macron on my behalf. If I had known, I would have given it to my brother. Radio silence since last week. Lola then calls him to work things out. “I don’t want to follow your instructions”, he answers at the end of the line. For him, “The situation is serious”, he wants it “change your thinking” and the vote “useful” for Macron is essential from the first round. Will he respect her choice? Will he vote for his ideas? Or will he not put ballots in the ballot box? She still hopes to come to terms with him by Election Day.

The discussion was also lively between Kostia and his mother Sophie. The 22-year-old lives in Paris and cannot travel to Meylan (Isère) to exercise his right to vote in person. “Since I was of legal age, I have had the opportunity to vote by proxy in two elections: the European and the municipal, by asking my father. This time he had my brother’s authority, so I turned to my mother.” he explains release. At that time he was still hesitant about his choice. His mother says: “He raised the issue of voting, and I told him it would be difficult for me to put certain ballots in the ballot box, even though I know I’m not the voter. After that I think there was some kind of provocation, he knows my positions.” Amuses Sophie.

For the mother of the family “There are things of general interest”. If she doesn’t expect her children to vote like her, then yes “complicated” vote farther to the right than Emmanuel Macron. She adds: “If it were about neighbors, it would bother me less. But within the family, it’s difficult to see ideas popping up that I don’t agree with. She doesn’t know yet, but her son’s vote should finally reassure her, he leans toward Mélenchon. According to Jean-Daniel Lévy, associate director of Harris Interactive, the vast majority of school principals are mobile students who have a profile “young, urban, educated and politicized”. Therefore, they usually turn to the parents to issue a power of attorney.

“Nobody can force you to take political action”

Behind different political opinions sometimes hides a generational conflict. “My mother fled the war against communism in Vietnam. She comes from a wealthy family that lost everything to the communists, explains Thien-Anne. Arrived in France, his view of things was always right, I often watched him at the elections and listened to what he said. Thien-Anne gradually distances herself from her mother, down to the last drop: “She came back [des Etats-Unis] with a photo of the Trump family that she put in the living room for all to see, also with a mug, and she described Trump Tower to me as something extraordinary. That was too much for me.” The young woman has since moved, but has not yet changed the voter list. “I preferred to give my power of attorney to my best friend because I share the same values ​​and I know we choose the same ones”, accept Thien-Anne.

Fortunately, if electoral fraud can raise ethical issues, it is rare and every citizen has the right to refuse to exercise power of attorney in advance. For David Girard, this is by no means an undemocratic election. “Nobody can force you to become politically active. You cannot impose anything on a third party without their consent. the lawyer points out.

To combat some form of involuntary abstention, certain unions and political groups organize rosters of volunteers who carry the voice of citizens who have no one to trust with their authority. The ecologists in particular offer this on the site procuration.jadot2022.fr, an initiative that has also caused a stir, since the confirmation email contains the digital addresses of several hundred subscribers. David Girard reminds us: “The address can only be made by the voters themselves. The party only names names, it cannot set up representatives.”

In 2017, 2.7 million registered candidates applied for a proxy for at least one round of the presidential election, according to INSEE. How much in 2022? This was announced by the Interior Ministry in a press release “more than a million proxies” submitted on 5.4.

(1) The first name has been changed.

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