“The second round of the presidential election is for many an opposition vote”: testify on the democratic crisis – Le Monde

WE MAKE THE POINT | What solutions to the democratic crisis? Distance voting, double proxies, postal voting, lowering of the minimum age, counting of the blank vote… In recent months, senators have proposed solutions to respond to the democratic crisis. Overview of what they recommend to increase participation (and the limits of these hypotheses): In December 2020, a report entitled “Remote voting, under what conditions? » Led by François-Noël Buffet, Senator LR and President of the Law Commission. He recommended “pursuing the security of Internet voting”. Also, in January 2021, PS senator from the Landes Eric Kerrouche had defended the use of double power of attorney and postal voting, believing that this “promotes participation in the ballot”. Critics of remote voting believe that voting on the Internet does not provide the same guarantees of transparency, security and secrecy as voting with paper ballots and glass ballot boxes. The other challenge is to have a digital platform capable of dealing with 48 million connections – the number of voters in France. Finally, the researchers also point out the technicality and complexity of online voting, for the uninitiated. The right to vote at 16 According to Dorian Dreuil, political scientist and co-president of the “A voted” association, “the earlier you vote, the longer you vote”. In December 2021, the socialist senator from the North Martine Filleul had carried a bill, finally rejected, which aimed to vote from 16 years old. Two months earlier, Patrick Kanner, the president of the socialist group in the Senate, also assured that “the more the young people vote early […] the more we will make citizens of them in the long term”. The right to vote at 16 was part of the proposals of the left-wing presidential candidates: the socialist Anne Hidalgo, the ecologist Yannick Jadot and the “rebellious” Jean-Luc Mélenchon were all in favor of it. A few days before the 2019 European elections, Emmanuel Macron said he was “ready to move forward” on the right to vote from the age of 16, when he was interviewed by the young youtubeur Hugo Travers. He had all the same conditioned this development on the fact that the 18-25 year olds go “to saturate all the counters of votes in European, municipal, regional, departmental”. The candidate president did not make any proposal in this direction during the presidential campaign finally, just like Marine Le Pen. Recognition of the blank vote In their program for the presidential election, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Yannick Jadot, Nathalie Arthaud, Jean Lassalle and Anne Hidalgo were in favor of taking the blank vote into account as votes cast . The positions of Eric Zemmour, Fabien Roussel, Valérie Pécresse, Marine Le Pen and Philippe Poutou were not clear on this subject. For his part, Emmanuel Macron had dismissed this idea when it was proposed by the “yellow vests” in 2019, when he had previously shown himself open to it. “It is a subject which is constantly exploited in politics without being seriously analyzed”, commented Jérémie Moualek, lecturer at the University of Evry (Essonne) and specialist in the blank vote. Most of the candidates’ proposals are imprecise, our journalist Pascaline David nevertheless noted in her article published on April 4. Should it be taken into account in the votes cast in all elections? Only in the first round, as advocated by the White Vote Party? Be accompanied by a power of sanction, such as the invalidation of elections, to really weigh on the political offer? Counting the scores of the “winners” of an election, including blank and invalid votes, and abstention, would in any case allow the real legitimacy of the representatives to be put into perspective. If the blank and zero vote – at 11.5% in 2017 – had been taken into account, Emmanuel Macron’s victory would have been narrower: his score would then have fallen from 66.1% to 58.5%; and for Marine Le Pen, from 33.9% to 30%.