Presidential 2022: from New York to Montreal, the vote of French expatriates has already begun

“It connects us to France”: from New York, Montreal or Washington, the French in North America began this Saturday, a day ahead of France, to vote in the first round of the presidential election .

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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 in my head of the country, smiles this specialist in oriental medicine, based in the American state of Virginia. His 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 Washingtonwhere she votes, the ballots in the names of the 12 candidates are neatly lined up. After a relatively short wait, voters are redirected to four different polling stations. A short passage through 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 civic exercise, despite the thousands of kilometers that separate the United States from mainland 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 beliefs of his family in France rather than his by slipping his ballot into the ballot box. Another Frenchman, who came with his family, claims to have made his decision ” at the time where he voted.

In Montreal, a more fluid queue than five years ago

To Montrealwhere thousands of people rushed at 8 a.m., as soon as the polling stations opened, Esther Sei, 26, says that she ” took the time to read all the programs, to watch programs and in particular that of HugoDécrypte to decide “. More 67,000 French people are registered in the French-speaking metropolis, 10,000 more than for the last presidential election.

It’s important to come to vote even if you’re an expatriate, you can’t miss it. And then it connects us to France “, assures Francois-Xavier Ledieu, 40, engineer in aeronautics, behind a fabric mask.

The voting operation takes place at the Palais des Congrès in the city to save voters a wait of several hours like five years ago. But upon opening the ground floor of this building is full to bursting, the sixty volunteers recruited by the consulate working to organize the queues. Some voters wait outside the huge building that has long served as a vaccination center.

I asked myself the question of coming because five years ago I had waited several hours before being able to vote says Sarah Guerrier, who has lived in Montreal for 11 years.

But, confides this elegant woman dressed in a black jacket, ” I have two children, who may study in France, so I think it’s important for them to decide who will lead France in the coming years “.

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Presidential: why do we always vote on Sunday?

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National elections Elections France Washington (District of Columbia) Canada United States New York North America

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