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.
Will Latest Indictment Give New Life to Ethics Reform in Albany? Don't Bet On It  (Gotham Gazette, March 24, 2017)
Why you'll be paying more on your next utility bill  (CBS News 6 Albany, March 23, 2017)
Watchdogs: Scandal-plagued Albany is filling new 'slush' funds  (The Oneonta Daily Star, March 21, 2017)
With Bharara gone, State Capitol may be weaker on ethics transgressions  (WXXI, March 16, 2017)
Legislature is largely exempt from FOIL  (Albany Times Union, March 16, 2017)
Some State Lawmakers Disappointed to See Preet Bharara Go  (Spectrum News March 14, 2017)
Assembly bills would delay plan to keep upstate nuke plants open  (Newsday, March 14, 2017)
Indian Point: Unit 3 shut down for maintenance, refueling  (The Journal News, March 13, 2017)
Many county websites have big gaps in online information  (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, March 12, 2017)
Bharara said Trump fired him after refusing to resign  (WGRZ Channel 2, March 12, 2017)
States must lead on climate change: Letter  (The Journal News, March 11, 2017)
Will Albany take steps to clean itself up?  (Press & Sun Bulletin, March 10, 2017)
Dutchess scores high in review of county websites  (Poughkeepsie Journal, March 10, 2017)
Attorney general's oil, gas probe lauded - Letter to the Editor  (Poughkeepsie Journal, March 9, 2017)
Falling Subway and Bus Ridership in New York - Letter to the Editor  (The New York Times, March 8, 2017)
Business Contributions and Campaign Finance in New York: Deep Historical Roots  (Gotham Gazette, March 8, 2017)
Public Hearing Held to Discuss Zero Emissions Credit Program  (Time Warner Cable News, March 7, 2017)
$8B state nuke plant bailout brings out supporters, critics, no Cuomo officials  (WFBO NPR Buffalo, March 7, 2017)
Decision-makers skip N.Y. nuclear bailout hearing  (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, March 6, 2017)
Energy advocates urging review of Gov. Cuomo's clean energy standard  (ABC News 10 Albany, March 6, 2017 )
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