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Voting machines are not going down well with the political classes in France. The machines were involved in widespread problems on Sunday's ballot and, according to reports, several of the country's political parties have demanded that the technology be withdrawn.

This election was the first Presidential race in which voting machines have been used. Around 1.5 million of the 44.5 million registered voters had to vote on the machines, but according to Agence France-Presse problems with the technology meant people had to queue for up to two hours to cast their electronic ballots.

Many voters simply gave up in the face of such a long wait. Others said they did not trust the machines to protect the anonymity of their vote.

Following the difficulties, the Greens, Communists, and Socialists issued a joint statement describing the machines as "a catastrophe" and calling for them to be scrapped.

France's interior ministry says there have been no problems with the machines since they were first used in 2003, while local authorities blamed the queues on the high voter turn-out. ®

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