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.
Community Colleges Are in a "Death Spiral," Says NYPIRG  (Spectrum News, March 2, 2021)
Albany Is Once Again In Turmoil  (WAMC, March 1, 2021)
NYC lobbyists still make bank despite COVID-19 pandemic  (New York Post, February 28, 2021)
24 Groups Support Gianaris’ Effort to End State Incentive for Trump Opportunity Zones  (The National Herald, February 24, 2021)
Is NY Doing Enough To Regulate Health Care?  (WAMC, February 22,2021)
Did New York let doctors get away with sexual misconduct?  (City & State, February 21, 2021)
NY Needs To Overhaul Its Elections  (WAMC, February 14, 2021)
Local environmental advocates call for investigation into DEC’s knowledge of AFFF burning at Norlite  (ABC News 10, February 11, 2021)
PFOA found in Rockland County public water supply  (Mid-Hudson News, February 9, 2021)
Cuomo's Higher Education Budget Gets Scrutiny  (WAMC, February 8, 2021)
NYPIRG: “Bring in the Commissioners and Put Them Under Oath”  (Spectrum News, February 8, 2021)
Pandemic makes politicking in New York’s Capitol a take-out affair  (New York Post, February 8, 2021)
New York City Pols Try to Make Gathering Signatures to Get on Ballot Safer  (NY City Lens, February 8, 2021)
Attorney General Issues Report On Nursing Home COVID Care  (WAMC, February 1, 2021)
A workshop for lobbying during COVID  (Community News Weekly, January 29, 2021)
Governor Cuomo's Budget  (WAMC, January 25, 2021)
Blair Horner discusses the 2021 state budget   (WGXC Radio, January 25, 2021)
Blair Horner discusses the state budget  (The Santuary for Independent Media, January 23, 2021)
Empire State Weekly NYPIRG Executive Director Blair Horner Budget Executive Budget Interview  (WIVB, January 22, 2021)
MTA Plans to Delay 2021 Fare Hikes  (Spectrum News, January 18, 2021)
News Archive
Statement on New Information Regarding PFAs Incineration at Norlite Plant in Cohoes
NYPIRG Reacts to Final Count in Congressional District 22 Race – Stunning Failures in Elections Administration Must be Investigated and Reforms Advanced to Restore Voter Confidence
Statement on Climate Action Council Energy Efficiency and Housing Advisory Panel Recommendations
NYPIRG Reacts To Governor Cuomo's Budget Proposal
NYPIRG Reacts to Governor's 4th 2021 State of the State Address on NYS Infrastructure Needs
Youth, Climate, and Environmental Organizations Respond to Governor Cuomo’s Environment State of the State Address
NYPIRG Reacts to Governor’s First Installment of His 2021 State of the State Address
NYPIRG and other civic organizations called on the Legislature to enact new rules to allow greater public participation and further empower rank-and-file legislators no matter which political party
NYPIRG and dozens of other civic organizations urge lawmakers to keep revenues from the Stock Transfer Tax in order to avert deep state cuts to environmental, health care, and higher education programs
Reformers Urge Courts To Reverse Decision That Takes Competent Judges Off The Bench
NYPIRG Student Voter Helpline Finds Some Confusion, Fewer Problems
NYPIRG to Open Statewide Student Voter Helpline on Nov 3
Make Polluters Pay Event With New York Attorney General Letitia James (Video)
NYPIRG urges Gov to fully fund elections in NY
NYPIRG submits comments to Assembly and Senate on the state's oversight of the quality of care in New York nursing homes and hospitals.
Tale of the Tape: NYPIRG’s 2020 Legislative Review
NYPIRG Announces Gene Russianoff Retires
Reform Groups Have Urged The Governor And The Legislative Leaders To Curtail Governor's Emergency Powers And Reconvene The Session To Do The People's Work
Group statement on NY Legislature increasing police transparency by repealing Civil Rights Law 50-a
NYPIRG Joins Over 50 Organizations in Calling for New York to Reclaim the Stock Transfer Tax
Reports & Features Archive