HEAT ALERT

Heat, humidity rise in Connecticut; oppressive temperatures last until at least Friday

Gov. Lamont forms task force to explore ranked choice voting

Ranked choice voting could be a game-changer for unaffiliated candidates and crowded party primaries, but some voters aren’t sold yet.

John Craven

Jun 10, 2024, 10:14 PM

Updated 8 days ago

Share:

Big changes could be coming to Connecticut elections. Gov. Ned Lamont is forming a task force to look at “ranked choice voting.”
Instead of picking one candidate, you could rank your picks. Ranked choice voting could be a game-changer for unaffiliated candidates and crowded party primaries, but some voters aren’t sold yet.
HOW IT WORKS
Ranked choice voting is exactly what it sounds like.
When you cast a ballot, you select a first choice – followed by a second and third choice, and so on. If your favorite candidate doesn’t get enough votes, they drop out and your vote is reassigned to your backup pick.
THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES
Ranked choice voting could be a major boost to unaffiliated and minor party candidates.
In 2018, Ned Lamont edged past Republican Bob Stefanowski to win his first term as governor. But a third name captured a lot of attention: businessman Oz Griebel.
“We believe that the two-party system is broken,” he told News 12 Connecticut in 2018.
Despite all the buzz, Griebel only captured 4% of the vote. His running mate, Monte Frank, thinks people were afraid of wasting their vote.
“If I had a dime for every voter who came up to me or told Oz, ‘We would have voted for you, but we were worried about that other guy – whether it be Bob Stefanowski or Ned Lamont – winning the race,’ I’d be fairly rich at this point,” Frank said.
NEW TASK FORCE
That could all change though.
Frank is part of a new task force that Lamont just announced to examine ranked choice voting. The group will craft a bill for lawmakers to consider next year.
“I think it makes sense, but that’s why we have a task force – to weigh it,” Lamont said Monday. “Is it too complicated for people? Is it necessary to help us guide where we want to go? Will candidates be a little more likely to move toward the center because they want to get that second chance vote?”
The new task force includes Republicans, Democrats and third parties – as well as state and local election officials. Their first meeting is this Friday.
PARTY PRIMARIES
Some form of ranked choice voting is already used in 28 other states, including New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine.
In Connecticut, Lamont said it would start with local elections and party primaries.
“With the primaries, it would be interesting when there are eight people running in the Republican presidential election,” he said. “If there was ranked choice voting, it would be interesting who people’s second choice was.”
Ranked choice could have given Lamont a different opponent in 2018. Stefanowski won the GOP nomination with just 29% of the vote against a crowded field of four other Republicans. Under a ranked choice system, the winner would have needed just above 50%.
PUBLIC CONVINCED?
Not all voters are convinced.
“Isn’t the whole point to vote for one person, and then that person is going to win, and whoever gets the most votes wins?” asked Danny Maillet, of Monroe.
Others think it could level the playing field, especially in crowded primaries.
“I think it’s a great idea. It could probably shorten the time to get someone in seat when there’s been an issue with the vote,” said Charlie Callahan, of Darien. “I’m a moderate. I often times think about the independent, but usually they don't have a great shot, so I don’t.”
Connecticut is on track to purchase new vote tabulating machines, which would be necessary for ranked choice voting. The Secretary of the State’s Office is currently accepting bids for new machines, which will be placed throughout the state.


More from News 12
1:44
HEAT ALERT: Heat and humidity continue as summer officially begins

HEAT ALERT: Heat and humidity continue as summer officially begins

1:05
How a CT lawmaker is helping an unhoused community living in woods in Stamford during heat wave

How a CT lawmaker is helping an unhoused community living in woods in Stamford during heat wave

2:46
‘People have worked so hard.’ Woman who helped make Juneteenth a national holiday visits New Jersey

‘People have worked so hard.’ Woman who helped make Juneteenth a national holiday visits New Jersey

2:03
Experts want tobacco-like warning labels for social media

Experts want tobacco-like warning labels for social media

0:18
Morning shooting in Bridgeport leaves person seriously injured

Morning shooting in Bridgeport leaves person seriously injured

2:03
‘Incredibly frustrating.’ New law will dramatically speed up wheelchair repairs

‘Incredibly frustrating.’ New law will dramatically speed up wheelchair repairs

1:57
Connecticut communities hold Juneteenth events

Connecticut communities hold Juneteenth events

0:31
Police: Man faces charges for driving with illegal ghost gun in Stratford

Police: Man faces charges for driving with illegal ghost gun in Stratford

0:17
Gas leak repaired in Norwalk, Monroe Street reopens

Gas leak repaired in Norwalk, Monroe Street reopens

2:06
Doctors highlight the importance of using sunscreen, particularly for people of color

Doctors highlight the importance of using sunscreen, particularly for people of color

0:31
Dollar Tree left lead-tainted applesauce pouches on store shelves for weeks after recall, FDA says

Dollar Tree left lead-tainted applesauce pouches on store shelves for weeks after recall, FDA says

0:51
Stamford nonprofit celebrates Juneteenth with music, food and fun

Stamford nonprofit celebrates Juneteenth with music, food and fun

0:29
New Haven hosts bill signing ceremony for expanded child care program

New Haven hosts bill signing ceremony for expanded child care program

1:30
Staying cool: List of Connecticut cooling centers

Staying cool: List of Connecticut cooling centers

9:43:53
12 tips to help keep your pets cool during the dog days of summer

12 tips to help keep your pets cool during the dog days of summer

1:15
Outdoor workers reminded to take precautionary measures during hot temps

Outdoor workers reminded to take precautionary measures during hot temps

2:06
Tara Rosenblum discusses exclusive News 12 investigation 'When Home Hurts'

Tara Rosenblum discusses exclusive News 12 investigation 'When Home Hurts'

2:28
Walt Kane discusses KIYC documentary on New Jersey’s treatment of sex assault survivors

Walt Kane discusses KIYC documentary on New Jersey’s treatment of sex assault survivors

1:02
Senate hearing grills Boeing’s CEO amid safety investigations

Senate hearing grills Boeing’s CEO amid safety investigations

0:25
Police: Woman veered off and hit a man on the sidewalk in Bridgeport

Police: Woman veered off and hit a man on the sidewalk in Bridgeport