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.
Groups Rally to Support Investigation of ExxonMobil  (Public News Service, February 23, 2017)
Nuclear bailout costs downstate, offers no benefit  (The Journal News, February 15, 2017)
Study: Yonkers, big cities will pay millions for nuke bailout  (The Journal News, February 13, 2017)
Plan to bail out nuclear power plants will cost cities millions  (The Buffalo News, February 12, 2017)
Attorney General Unveils Sweeping Voting Reform Package  (Gotham Gazette, February 9, 2017)
A.G. Schneiderman Introduces Comprehensive Bill to Protect and Expand Voting Rights in NY  (, February 9, 2017)
Reader's Letters: Drain the Oily Swamp  (Daily News, February 6, 2017)
Targeting pensions will get our vote  (Niagara Gazette, February 3, 2017)
NYS Exposed: Convicted state Senators get their taxpayer chair for a steal  (WHEC News 10, February 2, 2017)
On Your November Ballot: Stripping Pensions from Corrupt Politicians  (Gothan Gazette, February 1, 2017)
NY voters to decide on pensions for crooked public officials  (WXXI, January 31, 2017)
MTA drops plan to hike subway, bus base fares  (Metro, January 26, 2017)
NYPIRG's Blair Horner on the Capitol Connection  (WAMC, January 26, 2017)
M.T.A. Chief's Departure Leaves Void at Top of Agency at a Critical Time  (The New York Times, January 24, 2017)
Rule Would Require Lawmakers Seek Advisory Opinion Before Receiving Outside Income  (Time Warner Cable News, January 24, 2017)
Cuomo Locks Horns With Lawmakers Over REDC  (WAMC, January 24, 2017)
Audrey Zibelman to step down as chairwoman of state PSC  (Newsday, January 24, 2017)
Governor proposes ambitious ethics reform plan and election changes  (Legislative Gazette, January 20, 2017)
Largely Inactive Senate Ethics Committee Restructures  (Gotham Gazette, January 18, 2017)
Cuomo unveils $162B budget after private meeting with lawmakers  (Saratogian, January 18, 2017)
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