Monday, 8 March 2010

Voting in France

Having heard that the Regional elections were approaching, one of my clients asked me this morning “Can I vote in France?”. Here is my answer to him:

Foreign residents in France are eligible to vote in local municipal (Élections Municipales) and European Parliamentary elections but not in Regional elections.

How to register to vote in France?

In order to vote, you will need to register to vote at your local town hall (mairie). The registration has to be done by the last working day in December of the year preceding elections. You need to be at least 18 years old by the end of February of election year.

Visit your local mairie taking your passport and a proof of address (ie Taxe d’habitation, EDF or water bill) with you. You will then have to complete a registration form, which you can download here.

It is a simple document to fill in but if you require assistance with the form, please contact me here. I will be happy to help. All they need on the form is your name, address in France, date and place of birth, your nationality.

You will then be issued with a registration card, which you have to take with you on polling day. Elections usually take place in the Salle des fêtes. When you get there, you will be given an envelope and the ballot papers of all the candidates. Place a ballot in the envelope – this has to be done in a polling booth. When it is your turn to vote, show your registration card and your passport. Post the vote in the ballot box and sign the register. It is that simple.

My advice: vote between 12.30 pm and 1.45pm while everyone is having lunch! It will be quieter. It gets busy around 11 am as people go voting after church or after getting their fresh baguette!

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