Connecticut Governor Forms Working Group to Explore Ranked Voting

State lawmakers will consider implementing the election method during the 2025 legislative session.

Connecticut’s Democrat Gov. Ned Lamont tasked a working group with developing a legislative proposal to allow ranked-choice voting in caucuses, conventions, primaries, and certain municipal elections.

Connecticut law does not currently permit ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to rank candidates by order of preference rather than voting for just one.

The working group will produce a list of recommendations for implementing the method by the end of 2024 for state lawmakers’ consideration during the 2025 legislative session.

Ranked-choice voting, Mr. Lamont said, “has been used with success in other states throughout the United States for many years, and there is a growing consensus in Connecticut that enacting this system here will benefit our voters.

“I want this multipartisan working group to review how those systems operate, ascertain best practices, and collaboratively determine the best way that it can be implemented in Connecticut so that our municipalities and political parties have this option available to them.”

The governor tapped Democrat state Sen. Cathy Osten and Republican state Sen. Tony Hwang to lead the group.

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The first meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 14.

“Voters across the state are calling for an electoral process that allows for more viewpoints, without feeling like voting for a third party is a throwaway,” Mr. Hwang said.

The goal, he stressed, is to increase electoral participation in a way that better reflects the will of the voters.

Two states have implemented ranked voting statewide.

Maine became the first to adopt the method in 2016, implementing it for state primaries and federal elections.

As of 2022, Alaska voters rank candidates for state and federal general elections, although there is an initiative to repeal the option.

Major cities that use the method in other states include New York, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. Portland, Oregon, will join the list this fall.

In 2023, Connecticut lawmakers introduced a Senate bill that would have allowed the use of ranked-choice voting in municipal elections for single-winner offices and presidential primaries.

That bill stalled in committee.

Proponents of ranked voting say the process is more democratic in that it ensures majority rule.

However, critics say the method complicates elections, makes them more difficult to verify, and leaves voters uncertain as to how their ballot will ultimately be counted.

Ten states have banned ranked voting completely, including five in the past two months.

The full list is Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

And Missouri could soon join their ranks, depending on whether voters approve a ban on the practice this fall.

Meanwhile, in Alaska, efforts are underway to repeal ranked voting in the same way it was adopted: at the ballot box.

Voters approved it in 2020 by fewer than 4,000 votes, but opponents are locked in a legal battle to get a repeal on the ballot this November.

The case’s outcome will not affect how votes are cast and counted this year.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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