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.
Albany Gets Ready To Wrap Up The 2019 Legislative Session  (WAMC, June 17, 2019)
Albany's 'big ugly' provides political cover, but has some benefits  (Newsday, June 15, 2019)
NYPIRG: 22 End-Of-Session Fundraisers Being Held  (Spectrum News, June 14, 2019)
Water District Holds Informational Session  (Port Washington News, June 14, 2019)
Reformers ask JCOPE to seek independence in top staffer  (Albany Times-Union, June 12, 2019)
In Wake Of NYPIRG Report, Calls For EPA To Address Long Island Water Quality  (WSHU, June 10, 2019)
Lawmakers Targeting Political Ads  (News Byte Daily, May 25, 2019)
Lawmakers Want Those Behind Paid Political Ads to be More Transparent  (Spectrum News, May 24, 2019)
Democrats seek to make it easier to vote in party primaries  (Newsday, May 22, 2019)
Whither Ethics Reform?  (WAMC, May 20, 2019)
Comparing NY's corruption issues with other states  (WCNY, May 20, 2019)
Changing Albany's Pay-To-Play Culture? Maybe.  (WAMC, May 14, 2019)
Change to State's Constitution Could Allow Those Aged 17 to Vote  (Spectrum News, May 3, 2019)
'Enough Is Enough': Lawmakers Seek To Break Cuomo's Grip On NY's Budget  (Gothamist, April 26, 2019)
Cuomo schedules lavish fundraisers as legislature tussles over major issues  (New York Post, April 23, 2019)
Lobbying Spending In NY Hits A Record  (WAMC, April 15, 2019)
An upstate New York industry on the rise: Lobbying at the state Capitol  (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, April 12, 2019)
Uber spent $6 million lobbying in New York, lapping all other big spenders  (Newsday, April 11, 2019)
How 'model bills' influence the New York State Legislature  (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, April 4, 2019)
Strip Gov, Cuomo of his power over the NY state budget, Queens assemblyman says  (Daily News, April 3, 2019)
News Archive
Albany Money Machine 2019
Civic Organizations Release 50-state Review of States' Ethics Boards
Release: Albany Money Machine 2019
NYPIRG Reviews Governor, Senate and Assembly Budget Plans on Key Issues
NYPIRG Statement on H.R. 1 Passage and Calls for State Law for Small Donor Public Financing of Campaigns
New York's Highest-in-the-Nation Contribution Limits Go Up
Donors Can Now Contribute Nearly $70,000 to Governor
Governor's Budget Responds to New Yorkers' "Pent-Up Demands" For Action
NYPIRG and civic groups urge legislative reforms
NYPIRG and coalition urge approval of new ethics reform plan
Despite New Limits on Legislators' "Moonlighting" In Pay Raise Deal, Albany's Reform Agenda Is Far from Finished
Report: Outside Income and Conflict of Interest in Albany
State Lawmakers Ranked Third Highest Paid in the Nation, Overwhelming Number of State Lawmakers Report No, or Little, Outside Income
NYPIRG's 2018 Legislative Review
As End of Legislative Session Draws Near, NYPIRG and Other Civic Organizations Call for Overhaul of Ethics Enforcement to Restore Public Trust in Government
New York's leading civic organizations call for action to respond to the state's corruption crises.
Roadmap to Reform
NYPIRG and other leading civic organizations respond to the important ethics issues raised during the Joseph Percoco trial, which went to the jury today.
News Release: As Percoco trial begins, Reformers call for strong anti-corruption measures
News Release: Watchdog Groups Unveil "roadmap" to Curbing Corruption In New York, Kicking Off Their Restore Public Trust Campaign
Letter: Watchdog Groups Call for "Restore Public Trust" Reforms in Albany
Reports & Features Archive