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.
Watchdog groups look to strip Cuomo of emergency coronavirus powers  (New York Post, July 3, 2020)
Watchdog groups want to rein in emergency powers given to Cuomo for coronavirus: report  (1010 WINS, July 3, 2020)
Reformer groups call for end to Cuomo's executive power  (Albany Times-Union, July 3, 2020)
Blair Horner discusses the primary election and NY State politics on The Capitol Connection  (WAMC, July 2, 2020)
New York Holds A Primary In A Pandemic  (WAMC, 6/29,2020)
New York Votes Amid Pandemic Challenge  (Spectrum News, June 22, 2020)
In-person ballots for school district budget and board of elections voting due  (ABC News 10, June 9, 2020)
Can The "Street" Change America?  (WAMC, June 8, 2020)
Election uncertainty: what the new civil rights movement, absentee ballots and the coronavirus could mean for the general election  (ABC News 10, June 8, 2020)
With Covid-19 receding, some wonder: When will state of emergency end?  (The Buffalo News, June 8, 2020)
New York poised to lift veil on police disciplinary files  (WFMJ, June 8, 2020)
NYS Legislature takes action on criminal justice reforms  (WBEN, June 8, 2020)
Lawmakers Return To Albany, And Whistle Past The Fiscal Graveyard  (WAMC, June 1, 2020)
Robert Mujica is calling the shots  (City & State, May 31, 2020)
Everyone to Mayor: We Need 40 Miles of Dedicated Bus Lanes Now  (Streetsblog, May 28, 2020)
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul With A COVID-19 Update  (WAMC, May 22, 2020)
Will the U.S. Postal Service Survive the Trump Administration?  (WAMC, May 18, 2020)
The Legislature May Be Starting Up  (WAMC, May 11, 2020)
Blair Horner discusses the New York State budget amid the Covid-19 crisis on The Capitol Connection  (WAMC, May 7, 2020)
Commuter concerns from first overnight subway shutdown amid COVID-19  (Pix11, May 6, 2020)
News Archive
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
Rock the Absentee: Vote by mail for Primary Election Day 6/23
NYPIRG Statement on NY Attorney General's Lawsuit on the EPA Dirty Water Rule
NYPIRG Urges Governor Cuomo and Lawmakers to Return to Session and Act on Key Issues
Letter: Good Government Groups Call for Postponement of April Primary
Reformers Urge Government to Adopt New Measures to Do The People's Business
Local Elected Officials Call for Increased Water Funding
Policy Paper - Higher Education and Its Eroding Affordability Over the Decade
Civic Organizations Unveil New Website in Push to Get Albany to Support New, Independent Ethics Watchdog
Release: NYPIRG, along with legislators and consumer, public health and environmental organizations call for protections against antibiotic-resistant "Superbugs"
News Release: NYPIRG Urges Greater Access to Early Voting Sites
NYPIRG and Good Government Groups Issue Recommendations to the Public Campaign Financing Commission
Capital Investments: A Look at The 2018 New York State Legislative Elections
NYPIRG and civic groups urge NY Commission on Public Financing to focus on the task at hand; in 3 months establishing a new system of campaign financing.
NYPIRG statement on proposed PFOA, PFOS, 1,4-dioxane MCLs
Tale of the Tape: NYPIRG's 2019 Legislative Review
Albany Money Machine 2019
Civic Organizations Release 50-state Review of States' Ethics Boards
Reports & Features Archive