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VOTE ABROAD. All French voters can vote in the presidential election, including those living abroad. Whether at the consular or municipal polling station or by power of attorney, here is all the information you need to put a ballot in the ballot box on April 24, 022.

[Mis à jour le 9 avril 2022 à 16h00] The name of the next head of state will be known soon! And just as they voted in the first round of the presidential election, French expatriates can run in the second. The election of the President of the Republic is also the vote that generally mobilizes more voters abroad, but beyond the French borders, the vote of April 10, 2022 did not mobilize the crowds with only a 35, 12% turnout among voters established outside France, a sad memory. Those who abstain from abroad may be uninformed voters about the steps to be taken, the places to go to the polls, or the possibility of power. For those distant voters and 1st round abstainers who intend to vote in the final between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, here is all the information regarding the French vote abroad.

Abroad, as in France, citizens must be of legal age and registered to be considered voters and have the right to vote in presidential elections. However, expatriate voters have specific voter lists: consular lists. They are automatically enrolled in these lists as soon as they appear in the register of French established outside France, unless they object. Persons not listed in this register must be registered on the consular list at the French consulate or embassy of their place of residence. Enrollment in consular lists allows you to vote in presidential elections and legislative ballot boxes, among others. Foreign voters also have another option to vote in the presidential election: to register on a municipal list in France, then there are several possibilities available to the citizen. You can sign up for:

  • the municipality where the residence is located;
  • the municipality where they have lived for at least 6 months;
  • the municipality where they have been subject to local taxes (housing tax or business property tax or tax on built or unbuilt real estate) for at least 2 years;
  • the municipality where a company has been subject to local taxes for at least 2 years and of which it has been manager (director) or shareholder (majority or sole) for at least 2 years;
  • the town of birth;
  • the municipality of last residence;
  • the municipality of last residence, as long as it is for at least 6 months;
  • the municipality where a close relative is registered (up to 4th grade): father, mother, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-grandparents, son / daughter, grandchildren, great-grandchildren in direct line, great-grandchildren, brother / sister, uncle / aunt, uncle Blessed aunt, nephew / niece, great-granddaughter / niece, cousin of the collateral line is registered or was registered in the electoral census.

When will the presidential elections take place abroad?

The first round of the presidential election is set for April 10, 2022, and the second round will be held a fortnight later, this Sunday, April 24, both in France and abroad. The Caribbean and the Americas are the only exceptions as, due to their geographical location and time difference, voting is scheduled for Saturday, April 23rd.

The location of the polling station depends on the list of French expatriate voters. French people registered on consular lists must go to the consulate or embassy with the necessary proof of identity to enter a ballot in the ballot box. In the capitals, polling stations are set up regularly and are accessible to voters in French institutes. Voters registered in the municipal lists may only vote at the polling station in the municipality in question. They must go in person, always with an identity document, or give power to another voter in the municipality.

Can I register on both the consular and municipal lists?

Simultaneous registration on a consular list and a municipal list has long been allowed for French people living abroad, but this practice is no longer allowed today. It is also advisable to know the electoral situation before the elections to know where to vote. Especially because enrollment in a consular list does not allow voting in the same elections as enrollment in a municipal list. To participate in all French elections, especially in local elections such as municipal, departmental or regional, it is essential to be registered in the municipal lists and vote in France or to give power to a voter resident in the municipality where the expat is registered. French people residing outside France and registered on consular lists can only vote on certain occasions:

  • the presidential election;
  • referendums;
  • parliamentary elections;
  • the European elections;
  • the election of consular advisers;
  • election to the Assembly of French residents abroad (only for consular advisers).

It should be noted that the registration in a consular or municipal list automatically entails the deletion of the registration of the other, hence the importance of paying attention to the electoral situation itself.

Is it possible to vote by delegation from abroad?

Like all voters, French expatriates abroad can use voting by delegation if they cannot go to the municipal polling station or consulate on election day. Again, the fact of being registered on a consular or municipal electoral list is crucial because in order to exercise power, the voter must nominate a person registered on the same list as him. The French registered in the consular lists must go to the consulate or embassy with a valid identity document and “certify in their honor that they can not be in their municipality of registration or go to the polling station on the day of the voting “specifies the website of the Ministry of the Interior. The procedure is then the same as in France, it is necessary to indicate the identity of the agent (person receiving power) with surnames, first names, date of birth and address. However, the representative must enjoy his or her electoral rights and be registered on the electoral rolls. In order to be granted power of attorney by registering on a municipal list in France, the same procedure must be followed by contacting a district court, the police station or the gendarmerie at the place of registration. Recently, utilities have developed a teleprocedure to simplify and digitize the power of attorney.

Depending on the needs, power may affect the first, second or both rounds of the presidential election. It can also last for a maximum of three years, and be valid for elections held in the meantime. The sooner the power is exercised, the better, because if the application reaches the consulate or the competent authority too late, it will not have time to process and the power will not be effective on the day of the presidential election.

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