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.
Online Voter Registration on Verge of Passage in New York City  (Gotham Gazette, November 10, 2017)
The Con Con Blow Out  (Spectrum News, November 9, 2017)
Ballot Measure Authorizing State Constitutional Convention Fails  (Leicester Post, November 9, 2017)
Pension forfeit measure would help fight corruption, experts say  (Newsday, November 8, 2017)
Unions flexed muscle in defeat of Con Con  (Niagara Gazette, November 8, 2017)
In brief: the three propositions on the NYS ballot  (North Country Public Radio, November 7, 2017)
Pension? Not for Corrupt Lawmakers Anymore in New York  (Governing, November 7, 2017)
NYPIRG's Blair Horner answers voters' questions about the Constitutional Convention question on the November 7th ballot  (WCNY, November 6, 2017)
Election Day ballot questions cover constitutional convention and more  (AM New York, November 6, 2017)
Here Are The 3 Propositions To Vote On In New York On Tuesday  (WVIK, November 6, 2017)
New York Voters Can Make Crooked Politicians Pay  (The New York Times, November 5, 2017)
Voters to rule on constitutional convention, 2 other propositions  (Newsday, November 5, 2017)
Departure of Assembly Ethics Official Prompts Calls for Broader Reforms  (Gotham Gazette, November 3, 2017)
Propositions Two and Three on Tuesday's ballot face little opposition  (WXXI News, November 2, 2017)
Super PACs Hit Local Level  (State of Politics, November 1, 2017)
Who contributed to Syracuse mayoral candidate's campaigns?  (CNY Central, November 1, 2017)
Career public advocates recognized for challenging Albany establishment  (Legislative Gazette, November 1, 2017)
NYPIRG's Blair Horner discusses the three ballot questions New York voters will face on Election Day  (WAMC, October 31, 2017)
Island Vote: Constitutional convention on the ballot  (News 12 Long Island, October 30, 2017)
Proposal 2 seeks action on pensions for convicted officials  (News 12 Long Island, October 27, 2017)
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