Cheating for Macron?

The French election, which Emmanuel Macron won yesterday, was a big deal: It had implications not only for France but also for the European Union, which Macron wants to strength and Le Pen had promised to leave.

So it’s odd that there were a significant number of “anomalies” in the voting process, all of which favored Macron:

  • In the first round of voting, which winnowed down a large number of candidates to two finalists, there was a computer “error” in which 500,000 French citizens living abroad (a group much more in favor of the EU) were sent duplicate ballots, allowing them to vote twice. In a large field, this may have swung the vote enough to ensure Macron a place in the second round.
  • In the second round, there were thousands of reports of people receiving damaged and invalid ballots for Le Pen in the same envelope as intact ballots for Macron, with others reporting that they received two ballots for Macron and none for Le Pen!

Obviously this doesn’t prove conspiracy, but I’m always skeptical when all of the errors go in one direction. Regardless, I think this is the beginning of a story in France, not the end of one – there are already reports of protests in the country, and there’s no real chance, due to structural factors, that Macron can actually fix any of the problems faced by the French.

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