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.
In state government the use of stipends (legally) is widespread  (The Daily Gazette, May 19, 2017)
State Senate's latest shenanigans involve stipends  (The Buffalo News, May 19, 2017)
As Legislative Leaders Warn of Con Con Dangers, Good Government Groups Come Out in Favor  (Gotham Gazette, May 17, 2017)
NY Senate GOP defends extra pay to senators in vice chair roles  (Daily Freeman, May 16, 2017)
Senate GOP defends extra pay to senators in vice chair roles  (Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 16, 2017)
Flanagan under fire over extra stipends for 7 state senators  (The Buffalo News, May 16, 2017)
Lack of college education or high-paying job won't mean higher insurance rates for drivers under new rule  (Daily News, May 16, 2017)
NY Senate defends payroll tactic upping lawmakers' salaries  (WHEC News 10, May 15, 2017)
Senate GOP Defends Extra Pay to Senators in Vice Chair Roles  (U.S. News & World Report, May 15, 2017)
Watchdogs encourage more eyes on state contracts  (Oneonta Daily Star, May 15, 2017)
Comptroller's oversight should be be restored  (Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, May 14, 2017)
'Lulus' Awarding State Senators Stipends for Titles They Don't Hold  (Spectrum News, May 13, 2016)
Restore contract oversight for NY comptroller  (Niagara Gazette, May 13, 2017)
'Lulus' Awarding State Senators Stipends for Titles They Don't Hold  (NY1, May 13, 2017)
Watchdogs urge greater state contract oversight  (Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, May 12, 2017)
'Con-Con' a No-No, Say Legislative Leaders  (Spectrum News, May 12, 2017)
More eyes on state contracts would nip Albany corruption, watchdogs say  (Niagara Gazette, May 11, 2017)
Reform groups call for end of 'lulu' passing to IDC  (Albany Times Union, May 11, 2017)
Ad featuring Cuomo fuels speculation about 2020  (North Country Public Radio, May 11, 2017)
For Group of Breakaway Democrats in New York, It Pays to Be No. 2  (The New York Times, May 9, 2017)
News Archive
Reports & Features Archive