Thousands of French people wishing to vote in the first round of the French presidential election had to take their troubles patiently on Saturday, hanging around for hours outside the Palais des Congrès in Montreal.
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According to the Consulate of France in Montreal, the waiting time was around two and a half hours for people arriving on site at noon.
However, the waiting times, updated every hour, would be underestimated according to testimonies collected by the QMI Agency, voters having testified to being outside the Palais des Congrès for more than two hours, while still a long way from when they can cast their ballot.
Several Internet users also turned to social networks to criticize the organization of the vote by the French consulate, deploring the delays, but also the lack of personnel to organize the queues which went around more than once. of the Palais des Congrès, thus causing some confusion for people arriving on site.
These failures are reminiscent of the long queues of many who had been observed at the consulate five years ago, during the previous election.
According to the French consulate, just over 67,000 French people are registered on the electoral list in Montreal.
Even if she has lived in the United States for more than 25 years, Nathalie Depastas would not have missed this electoral appointment for anything in the world.
“I’m interested to know what puppet I’m going to have at the head” of the country, smiles this specialist in oriental medicine, based in the American state of Virginia. Her choice this Saturday was “obvious”, assures this woman with glasses anxious to elect someone who has “the interests of France at heart”.
In the French Embassy in Washington, where she votes, the ballots in the names of the 12 candidates are carefully lined up.
After a relatively short wait, voters are redirected to four different polling stations. A short passage in the blue, white, red voting booth, and the traditional “voted! “, declaimed by embassy staff.
Many voters take a moment to photograph the tricolor flag flying on this sunny morning. The pride of being able to participate in this great citizen exercise, despite the thousands of kilometers that separate the United States from metropolitan France, is palpable. Even if the choice of candidates does not always arouse great enthusiasm.
Frédéric Barassé, chef in Washington, expatriate for 12 years, admits having followed “the convictions of his family” in France rather than his own by slipping his ballot into the ballot box.
Another Frenchman, who came with his family, claims to have made his decision “at the time” he voted.