French voters express worries, frustrations, as they cast ballots

Voters in Paris say they are worried about the possible results of the first round of a bitterly fought presidential election.

PARIS, FRANCE (APRIL 23, 2017) (REUTERS) – Voters streamed into a Paris voting station on Sunday (April 23) as France began the first-round of its cliff-hanger presidential elections.

Polls opened at 8:00 a.m. (0600GMT), with all walks of life including young couples, elderly, professionals, and nuns participating in the vote.

Some voters expressed worries about the future of France, and frustrations at how the topsy-turvy election campaign was carried out – from the populist rhetoric of some candidates to the embezzlement scandal that touched conservative candidate Francois Fillon.

A 33-year-old financial project manager, Hanan Fanidi, entered the polling station still agonizing over her choice, saying she was not convinced by the proposals of each candidate. The bitter campaign season left many in the same situation. Some 20-30 percent might not vote and about 30 percent of those who plan to show up at the polling stations are unsure whom to vote for.

Finally, it was far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon who had Fanidi’s vote, she told Reuters.

Some 67,000 polling stations will open at 8 a.m., monitored by more than 50,000 police officers.