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.
Report finds delays in oil spill clean-ups in New York  (North Country Public Radio, April 21, 2017)
State deals need more oversight  (The Daily Gazette, April 20, 2017)
Oil spill data across New York released  (News 10 ABC, April 20, 2017)
Report Finds Thousands Of Petroleum Spill Sites Left Unchecked  (Spectrum News, April 20, 2017)
State lax on cleaning up toxic sites left by ExxonMobil, report claims  (Daily News, April 20, 2017)
Blair Horner discusses the lack of ethics reform in the state budget on "Live from the State Capitol"  (Talk 1300 AM Radio, April 18, 2017 )
Indicted Maziarz no longer a lobbyist, but still representing Senate GOP on a board  (Daily News, April 17, 2017)
That's all folks: Cuomo says ethics reforms unlikely  (The Journal News, April 17, 2017)
Rush to budget? Lawmakers outraged over 'error' in jobs legislation  (WGRB Channel 6, April 14, 2017)
Activists want a 'People's Commissioner' on the PSC  (Albany Times Union, April 13, 2017)
On Ethics, Cuomo Budget Entered Like a Lion and Emerged Like a Lamb  (The New York Times, April 11, 2017)
Critics Take Aim At State Budget Process  (WWNY Channel 7, April 10, 2017)
Upstate nuclear plant subsidies face uncertain future in budget  (North Country Public Radio, April 4, 2017)
Opponents of Cuomo's energy nuclear bailout lobby rail commuters  (Mid-Hudson News, April 4, 2017)
Has Governor Cuomo Lost Effectiveness?  (Spectrum News, April 3, 2017)
Blair Horner discusses the Albany budget and the budget process on Capitol Pressroom  (WCNY, April 3, 2017)
New York may face its first ever government shutdown if Cuomo, lawmakers can't agree on budget soon  (Daily News, April 2, 2017)
Gov, lawmakers fail to agree on state budget deal  (Newsday, April 1, 2017)
Groups Make Last Ditch Effort To Stop NY Nuclear Plant Bailout  (WAMC, March 31, 2017)
Cuomo, lawmakers failing to get state budget done on time  (The Buffalo News, March 31, 2017)
News Archive