le scrutin

The French voted yesterday...and we have a new French president!

le scrutin (skroo-tuhn) noun, masculine
   ballot; poll

...ce scrutin marquera l'accession au pouvoir d'une nouvelle génération, après les 12 années de présidence de Jacques Chirac...

...this ballot will mark the accession to power of a new generation, after twelve years of presidency for Jacques Chirac... --Radio Suisse Romande

I was driving along the Highway of the Sun* when the horizon went from blue to brown. Pointing to the sienna sky, I warned the kids that we were in for a storm.

The raindrops came pelting down from out of nowhere to blot out our crystal clear view. We were no longer surrounded by cars but faint specks of yellow light, like goldfish in a bowl of milk. Deep in the fog I turned on my headlights and told the kids to keep quiet. My daughter put a leash on Braise, told her she was a good dog, and the clatter of rain now filled the silence.

The telephone rang, jolting my heart as thunder might. Max answered, said hello to his father, and assured him we were almost home. My son listened to his father for a few moments before the call was ended. "Qu'est-ce qu'il y a? What's up?" I asked.
"We have a new President!" Max announced.

Before either of us could react my daughter spoke.
"Look, mommy," Jackie cried out, "we are driving into the rainbow!" I looked up to discover a complete arc-en-ciel.* Max mentioned that the colorful arc was an optical illusion but that didn't stop all three of us from seeing it. We noticed the rainbow's fiery rays in green, yellow, and red.

"What were the chiffres?*" I asked Max, returning to the historical event.
"Sarko,* 53 percent. Ségo* 47."

The kids and I stared out the window and noticed that, other than the fiery arc, the skies were still unclear.

References: l'autoroute (f) du soleil = the A6 & A7 motorways to the south of France; l'arc-en-ciel (m) = rainbow; le chiffre (m) = figure, number; Sarko (Nicolas Sarkozy) = the new President of France; Ségo (Marie-Ségolène Royal) = Socialist candidate for the 2007 French presidential election

Terms & Expressions:
  le scrutin secret = secret vote
  le scrutin découvert = open vote
  le jour du scrutin = voting day
  dépouiller le scrutin = to count the votes
  ouverture/clôture du scrutin = start / close of polling
  le tour de scrutin = ballot
  voter au scrutin = to ballot
  élire quelqu'un au scrutin = to ballot for someone
  procéder au scrutin = to take the vote
  demander le scrutin = to ask for a count
  scrutiner = to poll, vote

In Gifts and more:
Marie Claire Idees (magazine, in French) for a wide range of crafts and projects.
"Words in a French Life" -- now available in paperback!
TeLL me More French -- Used everyday in more than 10,000 academic institutions

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety