I just came back from the voting “urn” in the 17th arrondissement in Paris. I must say that, were I to have voted, I might have found the process somewhat “shocking.” After arriving at the designated locale, you are asked to pick up white paper (equal sized squares) on which are written the names of the twelve candidates. You can pick up as many pieces as you like — or you can also procure the paper ahead of time. You can, of course, just pick up one piece of paper in front of everyone to observe. In any event, what I found “interesting” was that the twelve piles (each representing a candidate) were lined up on a table. There was no rhyme or reason to the order of the piles of paper — except I found it rather peculiar that Sarkozy’s paper should find itself at the end of the table. If voting for Sarkozy, you must go all the way to the end of the table to be sure to get his paper. Two thoughts come to mind: are the piles of paper kept at the same height throughout the day? And, is the order of the piles changed from site to site and/or during the day at each site? If not, then I might argue that the process is vulnerable to non-democratic voting.
To finish the process, the piece(s) of paper are then taken into a curtained-off area in which you can fold up and put the designated paper into an envelope. Finally, you deposit the envelope into an urn once your identity has been checked off (with signature).
Now, we await the results of the most uncertain election in several decades.