| Monte Frank | Hartford Courant |

In 2018, Oz Griebel and I shed our party labels to run together for governor and lieutenant governor as a team focused on bringing people together, bridging partisan divides and trying to solve the problems that mattered most to Connecticut residents.

Oz built a business and political career based on a simple premise that Hartford and Connecticut needed to compete for capital and talent so that we would continue to be a place for all people to live, play, work, raise a family, and start and grow a business.

Ranked-choice voting is an essential step to advancing our shared mission to fix our democracy

We both believed that our commitment to promoting competition should also apply to our electoral process. While the 2018 election didn’t produce the result we wanted, we did earn the endorsement of the Hartford Courant, the votes of almost 55,000 people, and the third line on the ballot for the upcoming election for governor.

Following the 2018 election, Oz, a former Republican who ran for governor in 2010; and I, a former Democrat; and all of our supporters across this state — current and former Democrats, current and former Republicans, and unaffiliated voters — went to work on electoral reforms to allow for real competition in our elections with ranked-choice voting as the centerpiece.

In a recent Quinnipiac poll, 69% of both Republicans and Democrats agree on one thing: that our democracy is at risk of collapsing. Not surprisingly, they diverge along party lines as to who is at fault. That is why Gov. Ned Lamont’s commitment to electoral reforms with an emphasis on ranked-choice voting is so important to combat the threats to our democracy.

Ranked-choice voting is an essential step to advancing our shared mission to fix our democracy by reducing the hyper-partisanship in politics and creating a system that provides the best and the brightest from all of our communities a chance to rise up and serve. Ranked-choice voting improves the democratic process by reforming elections to give voters more choice. It promotes representative outcomes and ensures that the winner has a majority. It also discourages negative and all too often false campaigning.

In evaluating the candidates for governor during our endorsement process, which included meeting with all candidates, we considered not only the candidate’s willingness to pledge to the voters to actively support electoral reforms with ranked-choice voting as the key measure, but also that the candidate possessed the ability and the drive to get a bill on ranked-choice voting passed and signed into law.

Our endorsement of Gov. Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz for reelection was not based on left/right ideological issues, but instead on their commitment to the people of Connecticut to lead the charge to enact ranked-choice voting and help restore our democracy. Gov. Lamont’s track record of working collaboratively with the legislature to pass budgets, and other legislation that benefits the people of Connecticut, will be paramount in this effort.

Gov. Lamont has pledged to introduce a bill in the next legislative session for ranked-choice voting in federal elections and to give municipalities the option of using it in single-office races. We look forward to working alongside the governor and with the legislature in a non-partisan effort to get the bill adopted and signed into law.

Our endorsement of Gov. Lamont and Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz comes on the heels of Alaska’s successful use of ranked-choice voting, and it shows there is real momentum across the country for electoral reforms, especially ranked-choice voting.

Gov. Lamont’s dedication to ranked-choice voting will place the Constitution State where it belongs: a leader among states in our nation working to fix our democracy for the benefit of We the People.

Monte Frank is the chair of Griebel Frank for Connecticut, a part of the national Forward Party alliance. He was the Lt. Gov. candidate in 2018 on the Griebel-Frank for CT ballot line.

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