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National Issues

Voting Machines a 'Catastrophe'--French Parties PDF Print Email
By Michel Sailhan, Agence France-Presse   
April 23, 2007

Several French political parties demanded the withdrawal of electronic voting machines for the second round of the presidential election after widespread problems during Sunday's ballot. The Socialists, the Communist Party and the Greens put on a rare show of unity to call the machines, used for around 1.5 million of France's 44.5 million voters, a "catastrophe."

 

It is the first time the machines have been used for a presidential election in France. Amid big queues in general to vote, people using the electronic machines were forced to wait up to two hours to cast ballots.

 

The left wing parties complained following problems at Noisy-le-Sec, a suburb east of Paris. "In line with our forecasts, the electronic vote has been a catastrophe," the parties said in a statement. They said that many voters had walked away in disgust because of the wait.

 

Protests came from other cities as well. Philippe de Villiers, a nationalist Catholic candidate in the election, called it a "cheating machine" as he voted in his home town of Herbiers in western France.

 

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