Voting always takes place on Sundays in France and typically includes two rounds one week apart. The president is elected for a 5 year term with current president Nicholas Sarcozy up for reelection in 2012 .
Last Sunday was the first ever national primary election for the French Socialist party. Voters are choosing between six contenders prepared to take on Sarkozy in the 2012 presidential elections next October.
Patrice follows French politics extremely closely, and we spend a lot of time comparing and debating the differences between the French and American systems. Did you know that paid political advertising on TV is illegal here? And there are few, if any, references to one's private life - pleasantly different from the U.S.
I accompanied Patrice to the local elementary school to vote.
I wasn't the only person reporting on the event.