| Alison Cross | Hartford Courant |

For the first time in Connecticut, proposals to implement a ranked choice voting system in the state cleared a key hurdle that their predecessors could not — making it to a public hearing.

This session the General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee heard testimony on not one but four bills that call for municipal, state or federal elections — or all three — to be decided by a ranked choice vote.

Take some of the sting out of politics

With traction gaining in legislative corridors, 2023 could very well be the year that Connecticut lawmakers institute ranked-choice voting.

“We need systemic change in order to reinvigorate our democracy,” said Maryfrances Metrick, an advisory board member of CT Voters First. “Perhaps one of the most important changes we could make is ranked choice voting.”

Advocates of ranked choice voting, like CT Voters First, argue that voting reform is not just attractive, it is necessary to energize the electorate and confront the polarizing politics of the two-party system.

More than 20 lawmakers from the Democratic party and Republican Sen. Tony Hwang signed on to sponsor at least one of the four ranked choice voting bills before the Connecticut General Assembly.

Most notably, Gov. Ned Lamont and Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski announced their commitment to ranked choice voting while on the campaign trail.

After his reelection, Lamont dedicated a line to ranked choice voting in his inaugural remarks, asking Thomas to “think a little bit about [ranked] choice voting” as secretary of the state. He added that the system could “take some of the sting out of politics and bring some of the decency back to public service.”

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