Citizen Monitoring of Voting Goes Widespread in France

ER Editor: A reminder that French citizens go to the polls to elect a new president this coming Sunday, April 10 for the first round. The second round is held two weeks later.


Citizen Monitoring Goes Widespread: A Direct Application for Election Monitoring


To mitigate the risk that the election will be tainted by electoral fraud, a citizen control has been organized for the first time in France, an unprecedented initiative called “ReCiProC”.

Trust does not exclude control. In the past two years, citizen groups and associations have taken an interest in verifying information as rarely before.

A citizen control of the elections is organized for the first time in France, an unprecedented initiative: “ReCiProC”.    © Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP/Archives

The French are divided on many issues. The health crisis has amplified these differences. From the usefulness of treatments to vaccination in the general population, passing through the choices of health policies or the credibility of government speech, all of this has led to mistrust in public speech and a crisis of democracy.

Faced with this new situation, citizens have reacted by reading studies, challenging the figures, verifying the facts and the public word, a way of regaining “control of the city”.

In less troubled times, the life of a city passes through the social contract, which is based on a pact between citizens and institutions. From this stems a trust in which the French citizen agrees to be controlled by the institutions (vaccination control, tax control, judicial control, etc.). Conversely, the citizen must be able to exercise control over institutions and government action, which should never oppose them.

This citizen control should be exercised over various blocks: the democratic block (elections, transparency of public life, etc.), the legal block (control of the conventionality of laws, but also of constitutionality, verification of procedures in the Council of State or the Constitutional Council, etc.), the scientific block (control of science agencies Inserm, CNRS, science fraud), the health block (control of data from health agencies, protocols), the financial block (control of public expenditure and the cost-benefit ratio of the various measures).

In the past two years, citizens have come together to reclaim these civic acts through various initiatives and associations in order to hold institutions accountable for their actions.

Among all those already existing, a new initiative has emerged: the monitoring of the particularly topical elections five days before the first round of the presidential election.

Election 2022: avoiding suspicion by restoring trust

Some citizens harbor suspicions about the smooth running of the democratic process. They fear that the election will be marred by voter fraud.

This mistrust, which can be explained by the development of electronic voting in certain towns in France, has sometimes turned into mistrust when it comes to resorting to early voting.

In addition to these voting methods which have raised suspicions among some, several people have also alerted to a possible fraud which could be directly organized by the State, suspected of collaborating with the Dominion Voting System Corporation system used in the United States and pointed out by the supporters of Donald Trump as a system that made it possible to steal the last American election.

Some have gone so far as to say that the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has entrusted this company with compiling the results of the 2022 presidential election and the legislative elections that will follow. Information denied by the minister and the company to AFP .

In order to prevent suspicion from developing, these initiatives are a means of restoring trust among those who have lost it and a way for citizens to reclaim their destiny.

Citizen control has developed in France

In France, this is the first time that citizen control of the elections has been organized by the citizens and for the citizens.

This initiative entitled “ReCiProC” should not be confused with the verification that takes place at the time of voting in the booths, and which checks certain elements, such as the right to vote and the identity of voters, the extract from the register of proxies, the ballot box, the attendance list, the smooth running of the counting process and the publication of the results in the Official Journal.

Citizen control consists of collecting the results and keeping track of them by keeping a photo of the report displayed at the entrance to each polling station for an audit. It is addressed to the citizens as well as to the assessors of the various parties. The political parties in the running should see this initiative as additional democratic support and should have no problem contributing to it in order to pass this verification.

Otherwise, it would be tantamount to saying that the functioning of parties and institutions fails the elementary rule of transparency.

To participate in entering the results, simply go to the “Citizen Elections Control” results collection platform, and then to the proposed tool which will centralize all the figures collected by citizens in each of the 69,000 open votes on the national territory.

Other initiatives have emerged and citizens are invited to register on various platforms such as “Citizen Control of Presidential Elections“.



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