The blank vote, a vote like any other? [OPINION]

Nearly three million people voted blank or zero in the second round of the presidential election. How many will they be in the next legislative elections? It would not be surprising if, alongside growing abstention, so many voters expressed their dissatisfaction by voting blank.

Since a law of 2014, blank votes are counted during the counting, but not counted in the final result. What are the apostles of the blank vote asking for? That this percentage be included in the calculation of the final score of an election, reducing the percentage allocated to each candidate accordingly. In other words, they want the blank ballot to be given the same value as any other vote cast, and even that blank ballots be made available in the polling stations. Proponents of this non-vote see it as a middle way allowing voters to express their dissatisfaction other than by abstaining or extreme voting.

So, the blank vote, a vote like any other? While some are campaigning for such a vote to be recognized and distinguished from spoiled ballots, it is quite unlikely that political decision-makers will accept it. Why ? Quite simply because it would be a form of questioning of the electoral system itself. Certainly, the supporters of the white vote go to the polls, but they consider this vote as the expression of an opinion: their refusal to endorse any candidate whatsoever, the remaining choice corresponding neither to their ideas nor to their expectations. . Recognizing the blank vote would therefore amount to demonetizing the candidate elected in the second round, to questioning his legitimacy even more while the argument of the badly elected candidate is increasingly used in the aftermath of the elections.

The question arises all the more in a so-called dam situation, as we have known during the last two presidential elections, having opposed Emmanuel Macron to Marine Le Pen. The less the candidate who is almost unanimously asked to block has a chance of winning, the more the blank vote is released. This was more the case in 2017 than in 2022, the gap between the two qualified in the second round having narrowed. No less than 6,35% of voters finally voted white in the second round of the 2022 presidential election. A drop of two points compared to the 2017 presidential election. This still represents more than 2,2 million people having made the choice to fulfill their electoral duty not to choose either of the two candidates.

The highest risk in terms of legitimacy posed by the recognition of the blank vote would ultimately occur when it becomes substantial, even majority, in any case higher than that of the elected candidate. What about the legitimacy of this elected official, and from what white vote threshold should the ballot be canceled and restarted? And how many times to do it again, before resolving to an election almost by default?

Judikael Hirel

source: France Info

This article is published from Selection of the day.

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