In France, a popular primary for bank card owners

Three months before the first round of the presidential elections, voters in France are encouraged to participate in the popular primary. Presented as a citizen voting process, this tool in favor of a common candidacy on the left does not, however, allow everyone to vote.

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“Who is registering to vote”

This online election, launched by independent citizens and activists, will start on Thursday 27 January. It aims to designate a single candidate to represent the left in the presidential election of 2022. The person bringing together a “majority judgment” will be revealed on the evening of January 30. To express their preference, Internet users will answer the question “to promote ecology and social justice, these candidates are…” by giving each candidate a rating ranging from “insufficient” to “very good”. The person with the most favorable ratings will be declared the winner of the ballot.

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The seven candidates participating in the popular primary were announced this Saturday, January 15 at a press conference. They are Anna Agueb-Porterie, Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Pierre Larrouturou, Charlotte Marchandise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Christiane Taubira. If the latter has repeatedly affirmed that she would comply with the result of the “majority judgment” to continue or not her race at the Elysée, this verdict does not have the same importance for other candidates. The rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the socialist Anne Hidalgo and the ecologist Yannick Jadot declared that even if this result was not favorable to them, they would still remain in the race.

Registration is open until January 23. During the press conference, Mathilde Imer, co-founder with Samuel Grzybowski of this initiative, declared that she did not know who “will win this ballot”, but that it would depend “on who registers to vote”. Only, the requirements to be met to be able to participate can put off voters. First, it is an online vote and it goes without saying that you must at least be comfortable with computers. No alternatives are offered. It is thus not possible to vote in the popular primary physically or by mail.

Then, you must have a valid French bank card. Even if no direct debit is made with these card numbers, the idea of ​​having to have a payment card to be able to vote puts off some people who are nevertheless interested in participating. “As the reliability of this vote being our priority, we ask all registrants to confirm that they have the following three means of control: a mobile phone number (to receive a validation SMS), an e-mail address individual (to receive a validation code) and a bank card”, can we read on theprimary school website.

French cards only

Why this third means of control? “For anti-fraud purposes and with a view to guaranteeing the sincerity of the vote […] We ask you to enter your payment card information so that your identity is verified, in accordance with the security requirements of the CNIL – the National Commission for Computing and Freedoms”, can we read on another page. The organizers insist that registration is free. “The payment card fingerprint is not legibly retained and cannot be (re)used to issue payments for the benefit of the popular primary,” they write.

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Only French bank cards are accepted on the platform. French men and women living abroad who have not renewed their French bank card are therefore excluded from the vote. “It is essential to organize upstream to have access to these tools”, underlines the site.

Why not just verify the identities of voters by asking for a copy of their identity card? “It can only be retained as really reliable for face-to-face / physical voting by comparing the person’s head with the physical card (with the possibility of seeing if it is a real one or a fake one), the organizers still reply. on their site. In the context of electronic voting, the verification of identity cards is expensive, unreliable and generally requires manual verification after the fact.

The issue of bank cards was addressed in the newsfeed from Journal The world on the popular primary. “Many of you have asked this question of bank details, writes the editorial staff. For reasons of securing online voting, the Neovote platform, already used for the environmental primary in September 2021 and the Les Républicains congress last December, requires identity verification in order to avoid fraud. The platform specifies that this notably involves verifying your bank details.

Also read:
Yannick Jadot, the candidate who wants to reconcile power and ecology

Indeed, this same process was already used during the environmental primary last September, for which 122,000 people had registered, but also for the congress of Republicans in December which had gathered 139,000 registered. As of January 10, the number of registrants whose identity could be verified was 120,000, out of 300,000 registrants. “A new stage point will be made on Monday January 17”, points out Samuel Gryzbowski, co-founder of the initiative.

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