Legislative: a computer bug prevents some French people living abroad from voting

the essential
Since Friday, May 27, at noon, the vote for the legislative elections has been open to French people living abroad. For them, no need to move, they can vote by internet. Finally that is when there is no bug. As soon as online voting opens, many voters report the impossibility of confirming their choice and therefore of voting.

The vote for the legislative elections has already started for French people living abroad. From Friday, May 27, at noon, some were able to slip their ballot into the ballot boxes of the embassies while others opted for online voting. But a bug affects the vote of some.

For the second time, French people living abroad have the possibility of voting by internet, a simple procedure, supposed to attract more voters. Once registered on the consular electoral lists, French expatriates received their identifier by email and their password by SMS to vote. Then, on the dedicated platform, voters select their candidate. Finally, they must receive a validation code to confirm their choice. And therein lies the problem. According to information from France info, several Internet users have not received the famous code essential to validate the vote. The bug did not affect just one country. French people from the Netherlands, the United States, Thailand, Spain and even the United Kingdom told the same story to Franceinfo journalists.

It looks like the organization of online voting for #Frenchforeigners
A big nonsense… Many will remain on the floor and will not be able to vote

— Jhonny Blamoutier \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddeb\ud83c\uddf7\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\udde6 (@blamoutier_jhon) May 28, 2022

The computer malfunction was reported to the consulates and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since Saturday May 28, at the end of the afternoon, a press release warns the French called to vote online of the impossibility for some of them to vote. The ministry’s website specifies that the “technical difficulty” relates to “sending confirmation emails to voters using a Yahoo email address”. The authorities want to be reassuring. “Technical support teams are currently working to address this issue. Voters have been notified and will be notified again when it is resolved.” They add that no “other significant difficulty” is to be deplored.

A bug that could inflate abstention

Even if the number of voters affected remains difficult to assess, Loic Le Gland, consular adviser in California, explains to Franceinfo that in San Francisco alone, “it is 12.8% of voters who use Yahoo!”. A non-negligible proportion of voters could therefore prefer to abstain. “If it is not settled in time, I will be one of the abstainers in spite of myself” regrets Jipe Gerardin who is unable to make a power of attorney. Some Yahoo! will therefore have to go to the embassies to vote. But in some parts of the world embassies can be several hundred kilometers from voters.

In 2017, online voting, which had already taken place in 2012, was canceled due to the risk of a cyberattack. Finally, it is the organization that fishes for this second attempt. The use of digital technology, which was to make voting accessible, is proving risky. Some even go so far as to question the validity of the vote. Jhonny Blamoutier, living in Spain, asks the question on Twitter: “Equality before the vote is not respected, could it be invalidated?”

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Legislative: a computer bug prevents some French people living abroad from voting

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