New York Constitutional Convention

Under New York’s constitution, every twenty years voters get an opportunity to decide if they wish to overhaul — or tinker with — their state constitution. The below "roadmap" offers a basic view on how that process works. You can hover your cursor over each number to get more detail on each of the "stops" along the way to "Conventionland."

In addition to getting more information by clicking on numbers on the game board, please take a look at our short Guide to the New York State Convention Process.

We offer this a an educational service to all New Yorkers.


Stop #1: Every 20 years, the New York State Constitution requires that the public decide if it wants to update its constitution. The next vote is November 2017. Stop #2: Will the process for selecting delegates stay the same? Reformers want there to be a legislative debate over the rules for electing delegates and the openness requirements for the convention’s proceedings in advance of the public vote. Knowing the ground rules for delegate selection will be a factor for many New Yorkers in how they decide to cast their votes on the convention question. Stop #3: The public votes on whether to hold a convention. If the majority of votes cast on the convention question are “yes,” then the process continues. If the majority votes down a convention, no convention happens and the “road” to a convention ends. Stop #4: Voters choose who they want to be delegates at the convention. At the next general election following the voters’ approval to convene a convention (November 2018), voters choose three (3) delegates from each State Senate District (there are 63 Senate districts), and fifteen (15) are elected statewide. Thus, the convention would consist of a total of 204 delegates. Anyone who is eligible to vote can run for delegate. The processes for getting on the ballot and running a campaign are the same as those running for any other state office. Split-ticket voting for the 15 statewide delegates has historically been extremely difficult. Stop #5:  The convention, consisting of its 204 delegates, begins its deliberations the first Tuesday of April 2019 and continues until work is completed. Stop #6: As the convention begins, the delegates will likely organize themselves to consider changes to the Constitution, such as creating committees to examine specific areas of the constitution (e.g., environmental policies). Stop #7: The convention begins to discuss changes.   Anything can be on the agenda since it is not possible to limit the scope of a convention. Stop #8: The delegates decide on which changes they agree should be part of a new Constitution.  A key decision will be whether the proposed changes are voted on as one package or as separate individual amendments. Stop #9: Whatever changes emerge from the convention are then sent to the voters for final approval. New Yorkers go to the polls the following November (2019 at the earliest) to approve or reject the changes. Stop #10: Any changes that are approved in a statewide referendum go into effect January 1st in the year after the vote is held.   If rejected, the Constitution does not change.
Hochul wants to 'blow up JCOPE.' But how?  (San Antonio Express News, October 15, 2021)
Voters statewide will have a say on major and minor changes to New York Constitution  (The Buffalo News, October 15, 2021)
House Republican followed Trump's self-dealing model, spent thousands on her own companies: report  (Salon, October 14, 2021)
Why is Gov. Kathy Hochul calling Cynthia Nixon?  (City & State, October 13, 2021)
Firm that hired ex-Cuomo aide received no-bid state contract  (Newsday, October 10, 2021)
Redistricting referendum could extend Democratic enrollment advantage  (Newsday, October 9, 2021)
Gov. Kathy Hochul has had a heck of a New York honeymoon  (City & State, October 8, 2021)
Kathy Hochul wants to clean up Albany. So did the last guy.  (Politico, October 7, 2021)
What the Five Ballot Proposal Questions Mean for New Yorkers this November  (The City, October 5, 2021)
Wall Street dumps shares of Greenidge Generation stock ahead of air emissions hearings on ‘carbon neutral’ bitcoin mining  (Fingerlakes1.com, October 4, 2021)
Make polluters pay, activists tell Schumer: ‘You make a mess, you clean it up’  (NY Daily News, October 3, 2021)
Tish James tiptoes  (Newsday, September 29, 2021)
Kathy Hochul wants to clean up Albany. So did the last guy.  (Politico, September 29, 2021)
New York’s redistricting tests Democratic opposition to gerrymandering  (The Washington Post, September 27, 2021)
In redistricting, big cities have big say in power balance  (The Sentinel Record, September 27, 2021)
State government has a corruption problem, can Sen. Biaggi fix it?  (The Riverdale Press, September 26, 2021)
In redistricting, big say for big cities in DC power balance  (ABC News 12, September 26, 2021)
Your guide to New York's 2021 ballot questions: #1 — amending the state's redistricting process  (Spectrum News, September 24, 2021)
Out of office, Cuomo uses power of campaign account  (Spectrum News, September 23, 2021)
Redistricting is on the ballot again in November. Here’s what voters will be considering.  (City & State, September 22, 2021)
News Archive
NYPIRG Is Hiring: Environmental Policy Director
NYPIRG Is Hiring: New York City Equity and Resiliency Projects Regional Director
NY Congress Members Urge Speaker Pelosi to Make Polluters Pay for Climate Destruction Costs
Upstate New York Likely to Lose Representation in Congressional Delegation and State Senate If New Maps Reflect Changes in Population
NYPIRG Statement on the August 2021 report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Release: Leading Climate & Social Justice Organizations Rally Around Make Polluters Pay Plan
Letter: Leading Climate & Social Justice Organizations Rally Around Make Polluters Pay Plan
NYPIRG Calls for Creation of Public Dashboard to Measure Progress Toward New York’s Climate Goals
Letter to DEC: NYPIRG Calls for Clear and Accessible Public Reporting on Climate Progress
Tale of the Tape: NYPIRG’s 2021 Legislative Review
Environmental groups call for a moratorium on the operation of cryptocurrency mining centers
NYPIRG Statement on Passage of Legislation to Ensure All New Yorkers Have Testing for Dangerous Unregulated Contaminants
On Eve Of 50th Anniversary Of NY's Approval Of The 26th Amendment, NYPIRG and120+ College Groups Urge Lawmakers To Approve Legislation Placing Polling Places On Colleges
Council Members, Climate Activists New York City Council to Enact Gas Free NYC Bill to Reduce Air Pollution and Create Green Jobs
NYPIRG Reacts to Closure of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
NYPIRG reacts to Census reapportionment numbers - NY will lose one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
NYPIRG and other watchdog organizations call for hearings into scandals and failures of ethics oversight
2021 State Budget Reaction
Civic Groups urge the New York City Board of Elections to reinstate its public comment period
NYPIRG and New York's leading civic organizations call for an overhaul in ethics enforcement. The coalition urges that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) be replaced and a new independent ethics watchdog be created.
Reports & Features Archive