“The story of the weeks leading up to the election resembles what ended up giving the report its title: the chronicle of an announced fiasco. “ Barely installed, the chairman of the Senate Law Commission, François-Noël Buffet, set the tone. Under his authority, the commission of inquiry delivered its conclusions on “What should be called a scandal”, namely the serial failures that marred the distribution of electoral propaganda for regional and departmental elections.
The private company Adrexo, which had managed to steal its monopoly from La Poste for the distribution of electoral material over half of the metropolitan area, was at the heart of the matter. Under fire from critics in the week preceding the first round, the company had proved unable to meet its contractual commitment.
The mission first set the context, thus making it possible to see clearly in the battle of figures which had opposed the ministry of the interior and the local elected officials. On the strength of a survey carried out by Cevipof, the commission re-established the facts, far removed from the 5% to 7% non-distribution put forward by Adrexo. In the first round, a quarter of the French thus received no propaganda document; in the second, the electoral material did not arrive at its destination in respectively 27% of the cases for the departmental and 40% for the regional, “These figures rising to 80% in several departments”. The whole “With a very clear difference between the Adrexo zones and the La Poste zones”.
According to the report, a clear correlation could be established between the non-reception of propaganda and the increase in abstention compared to the regional ones of 2015: as a reminder, the elections of June 2021 recorded the highest rate of abstention. from the history of the Ve Republic behind the 2000 referendum. “This is obviously not the only reason for abstaining”, wanted to clarify Mr. Buffet.
La Poste, although having experienced difficulties itself, emerges relatively unscathed from the committee’s report. In reviewing “Chain failures” which hampered the proper conduct of the election, the responsibility was thus attributed jointly to the Ministry of the Interior and to the private provider.
First on the issue of the call for tenders: selected in December 2020 for a period of four years as part of the opening to competition, Adrexo’s proposal was not the subject of a sufficiently thorough examination, which should have revealed from the outset his inability to carry out the mission. Example among others, “The company declared that the services covered by the framework agreement represented 87.5% of its turnover”, while the actual share was 3%.
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