We Need Ranked Choice Vot­ing

Hartford Courant - - Opinion -

In the af­ter­math of a bruis­ing cam­paign sea­son, Con­necti­cut leg­is­la­tors need to re­flect on what went wrong and ad­dress it. First on their agenda should be to im­ple­ment ranked choice vot­ing in Con­necti­cut.

In the race for gov­er­nor, for in­stance, vot­ers had a choice of five can­di­dates. In the heat of the cam­paign there were calls for can­di­dates to with­draw, or shaming of vot­ers to only vote for a ma­jor-party can­di­date.

Al­though, as some ar­gue, it is “a fact” that the U.S. is a two-party sys­tem, of deeper con­se­quence is that our Con­sti­tu­tion guar­an­tees our right to free speech, to assem­ble and to pe­ti­tion. Un­der our Con­sti­tu­tion, Democrats and Repub­li­cans must ac­com­mo­date those who want to ex­er­cise their First Amend­ment rights by run­ning for of­fice.

We have a choice: We can con­ve­niently for­get the lessons of this elec­tion, or the Con­necti­cut leg­is­la­ture, like Maine, can im­ple­ment ranked choice vot­ing, which makes pos­si­ble list­ing your vot­ing pref­er­ences in or­der. This al­lows more than two can­di­dates to com­pete with­out fear of split­ting the vote.

This is a com­mon-sense so­lu­tion we can im­ple­ment now, be­fore the next elec­tion, to stop the cy­cle of dys­func­tion re­gard­ing the re­al­ity of mul­ti­ple can­di­dates.

Lynne Charles, Madi­son

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