Vote Early. Real Early

Bass, WSHU, Stuart, Breen PhotosMonths before the major parties decide who should become Connecticut’s next governor, you can cast an early vote — and in the process challenge our winner-takes-all electoral system.

Dozens of candidates have emerged to seek to succeed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who retires at the end of this year after two terms in office.

In May Democrats and Republicans will hold conventions to endorse a candidate each, then some others will qualify for an August primary.

Some cities across the country have experimented with a different system: “ranked-choice” and “instant run-off” (IRV) elections. Voters select all the candidates they support in order of preference; then those results are tabulated to remove the lowest-scoring candidate in a series of rounds, with that candidates’ voters’ next picks redistributed to remaining candidates.

The idea is to give people a reason to vote. IRV and ranked choice are designed to offer more choices in each election, so people feel they can vote for one or more candidates rather than always vote against the lesser of two “evils” left standing when final choices appear on a general election ballot. (Here’s a fuller description.)

So let’s try it out.

We’ve embedded below a ballot on which we’ve listed the 22 candidates who have filed papers (for either “exploratory” or official campaigns) and made some public show of breathing and gathering money or support. You can list all the candidates you support in order of support. Then you can view round-by-round results as they evolve in coming weeks as other readers vote, too.

Below the ballot, we’ve also provided links to information about those candidates (and in some cases embedded radio interviews they’ve done on WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven program) to help you make your choices.

Thanks to the organization OpaVote for designing and adapting this polling tool in collaboration with Independent webmaster Kyle Summer so we can embed it here. Thanks to Brandon Patton for finding the right tool and creating the poll.


Poll Results

This is one of two test-votes for the governor’s race available to voters today. CT News Junkie launched a “March Madness” elimination-round poll for each party’s field. (Click here to vote in that one, too.)

Who’s Running

Toni Boucher: Republican state senator from Bethel and New Canaan; a chief deputy majority leader. Campaign website.

Mark Boughton: Republican mayor of Danbury. Click below to hear his interview on WNHH. Click here to read a story about that interview.

Luke Bronin: Democratic mayor of Hartford. Click below to hear his interview on WNHH. Click here to read an article about the interview.

Susan Bysiewicz: Democrat. Former secretary of the state. Click here for a story in which she discusses her platform.

Sean Connolly: Democrat. Former state commissioner of veteran services. Click below to hear his interview on WNHH. Click here for an article about the interview.

Joe Ganim: Democrat. Bridgeport mayor, running on a “second chance” platform Click here, here and here for stories about WNHH interviews with him; click below to hear them.


Mark Stewart Greenstein: Libertarian. Farmington property owner. Campaign website. Filed to run in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. (He didn’t win.)

Oz Griebel: Independent. Longtime Hartford area business advocate. Running centrist campaign. Click here to read a story about his WNHH FM interview; audio below.

Mike Handler: Republican. Has worked as top aide to Republican and Democratic mayors in Stamford; runs emergency services in New Canaan. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.

Jonathan Harris: Democratic. Former state senator, state consumer protection chief, and West Hartford mayor. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.

Tim Herbst: Republican. Former Trumbull first selectman. Story here about on how he pitched his candidacy to New Haven Republicans. Campaign website.

Ned Lamont: Democrat. Greenwich businessman. Lost past races for senator (2006) and governor (2010). Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.

Peter Lumaj: Republican. Albanian immigrant positioning himself as Trump candidate. Website.

Steve Obsitnik: Republican. Fairfield County tech entrepreneur who returned home after making it in Silicon Valley. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.

Guy Smith: Democrat. Former CEO of Americares and a liquor distribution company, Friend of Bill (Clinton), adviser to Philip Morris on anti-anti-smoking-law strategy. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.

Prasad Srinivasan: Republican. Glastonbury state legislator and pediatrician; models his politics after Ronald Reagan. Story here, audio below, from WNHH interview.

Bob Stefanowski: Republican. Ex-Gold Coast investment banker. Story here on how he presented his candidacy to New Haven Republicans.

David Stemerman: Republican. Greenwich hedge fund founder. Background story here.

Erin Stewart: Republican. Mayor of New Britain. Announced campaign on Facebook Live. Story here.

Joe Visconti: Independent. Anti-gun control, anti-immigration Tea Party stalwart. Story here from his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

• David Walker: Republican. Former U.S. comptroller general. In-depth Weekly Standard profile here.

• Jacey Wyatt: Independent. Perennial candidate from Branford. Sample story here from previous campaign.

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posted by: SparkJames on March 12, 2018  12:20pm

No real leftists running. Stupid.
This is Connecticut.
Not even Lembo! No more Dan Drew?
Where’s that Chris Mattei guy?

bunch of corporatists, criminals, and republicans.

Where are the Greens? What good is instant Runoff if there are no idealists to vote for??

posted by: robn on March 12, 2018  12:24pm

What happened to Dita Bhargava?

[Paul: She decided to run for treasurer instead.]

posted by: Frank Columbo on March 12, 2018  1:19pm

Chris Mattie is running for Attorney General.

posted by: 1644 on March 12, 2018  2:46pm

Spark:  After saying he was tired of sitting on the sidelines, and after positioning himself to the right of Malloy by voting against some bonding,  Limbo decided the field was too dangerous and went back to the sidelines.  He is running for re-election as Comptroller. 
Drew, of course, self-destructed by aggressively soliciting town employees for donations, and couldn’t even get the support of his DTC, which went to Susan B.

posted by: SparkJames on March 12, 2018  3:01pm

You’ll blame real progressives like Dan Drew for their campaign errors, applaud a takeover of the local Dems by status quo politicians,  and then happily elect Joe Ganim governor.

This is in part why Democrats continue to lose everything.

posted by: TWO-THIRDS on March 12, 2018  3:36pm

I don’t “get it”.  Maybe I am stupid - but maybe others “don’t get it?”  (maybe)?

posted by: SparkJames on March 12, 2018  5:06pm

Thank you for giving Instant Runoff some press.

But if the results keep changing as your readers cast their votes on the poll, isn’t this in no wat how it will be implemented in real life?

Wouldn’t the best way to do this be

1) Announce the vote
2) give your readers a set amount of time to vote (a virtual Election Day of a week or so)

3) close voting

4) show results. And THEN show us how Instant Runoff voting systems are counted.

It appears you are operating this like one of those piegraph polls where we immediately see the results before voting is concluded… which is unethical. (Similar to Hillary permanently having a 600 delegate lead over Bernie even though no votes were cast. Spoils the outcomes.)

posted by: 1644 on March 12, 2018  5:16pm

Spark: I am a Republican, so I really don’t care much about internal Democrat politics.  As for Ganim, were I King of the World, he would not be able to vote, much less hold office.  I did like Lembo.  Of the Dems, I like Harris, as West Hartford is a well-run town.  Of the Republicans, no one has excited me.  Boughton has a good manner, and experience.

posted by: JDoe on March 12, 2018  5:27pm

like a Batman line-up

posted by: 06511 on March 12, 2018  10:11pm

As a progressive, I find this field depressing as hell.

posted by: Elmer Shady on March 13, 2018  1:44am

This is a BS article.

3/5th’s didn’t even have the will to comment on this pandering to lack of process…...

It won’t be Ganim.  It will be another Republican.

posted by: Tessa Marquis on March 13, 2018  9:21am

Pooh Pooh to the nay-sayers. I thought this was Fun.

The only way to vote for real is to join one of the “Parties” and then hope they like you enough to make you a delegate (or an alternate - sometimes people get tired and go home early).

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 13, 2018  11:31am

posted by: Elmer Shady on March 13, 2018 2:44am

This is a BS article.

3/5th’s didn’t even have the will to comment on this pandering to lack of process…...

It won’t be Ganim.  It will be another Republican.

You must not know me well.I always have the will.For some reason I was lock out.Try to write this.

When it comes to politics, I’m not on the right side or the left side. Do you remember when they crucified Christ? There were someone on his left side, and someone on his right side, and they were both thieves. That’s the same way with politics, politics is madness——-BOB MARLEY

posted by: 1644 on March 13, 2018  7:28pm

The Oscars use this form of voting.—-but-a-controversy-may-have-derailed-it/ar-BBJUcGJ?li=AA30Mu
Just saw Shape of Water.: great movie.

posted by: John R. McCommas on March 17, 2018  11:37am

If I can’t understand it, I don’t like it!  I am supportive of a run-off election where the two biggest vote getters square off in another election like they have down South. —If one person does not reach 50 percent.  THAT I understand.  This gobbledygook, I don’t.  Further I am very suspicious something this complicated won’t be manipulated by the partisan rats nests we have in the Secretary of the State and the Connecticut Election Enforcement Commission.