New York Constitutional Convention FAQ?

(Most of this information found through the NY State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse at www.newyorkconcon.info)

  • What is a constitutional convention?

    • A political meeting where elected representatives create or change a constitution

  • How often does NY have one?

    • Every 20 years

  • When is the next one?

    • The next convention will be in April of 2019 but there are several phases, the first of which will start in 2017

  • What are the different phases?

    • Nov. 2017 - Constitutional question (must get majority for the rest to happen)

    • Nov. 2018 - Voters elect convention delegates

    • April 2019 - Convention is held

    • Nov. 2019 - Popular vote on proposed changes

  • Who votes for the constitutional convention and when?

    • Everyone in NY State votes on Nov. 7th 2017 (election day)

    • Then in 2018 we all vote again (on election day) by state senate district to elect 3 delegates per district.

    • Then in 2019 we all vote again to approve referendums suggested by the convention earlier in April of that year.

  • How do people become delegates?

    • This is unclear, but we think they are nominated through county political clubs

  • What are the pros and cons of a constitutional convention?

    • This is a much debated question. We recommend you visit the NY State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse at www.newyorkconcon.info. Click “Pro & Con” on top banner.

    • Also, anyone interested the NYS Constitutional Convention should read the Gotham Gazette article “The Best Delegate Selection Process for a New York State Constitutional Convention” by J. H. Snider. It makes the current process clear and also lays out an alternative and some very ambitious but concrete steps to get there.

  • Where can I find more information?

    • We highly recommend visiting the NY State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse at www.newyorkconcon.info for more information. There are also many different resources you can find through that website.

    • Also good is the Ballotpedia entry: New York Constitutional Convention Question (2017)

    • “Constitutional Convention Absent from Cuomo’s 2017 Agenda” by Rachel Silberstein. Gotham Gazette, January 19, 2017.