New York Proposal 1, Constitutional Convention Question (2017)

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New York Proposal 1
Flag of New York.png
Election date
November 7, 2017
Topic
Constitutional conventions
Status
Defeatedd Defeated
Type
Automatic referral
Origin
Dictated by law

2017 measures
Seal of New York.png
November 7, 2017
New York Proposal 1
New York Proposal 2
New York Proposal 3

New York Proposal 1, the Constitutional Convention Question, was on the ballot in New York as an automatic ballot referral on November 7, 2017. It was defeated.

A "yes" vote supported holding a constitutional convention to develop and propose changes to the state constitution that voters would vote on at the election on November 5, 2019.
A "no" vote opposed holding a constitutional convention to develop and propose changes to the state constitution that voters would vote on at the election on November 5, 2019.

Election results

Proposal 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No2,910,86883.03%
Yes 594,820 16.97%
Election results from New York Elections Office

Overview

Constitutional convention questions in New York

A constitutional convention is a meeting of elected delegates who propose amendments to or rewrite the state constitution. Proposals developed at a convention are put on a ballot for voter consideration. New Yorkers voted on 12 constitutional convention questions during the 239 years between 1777 and 2016. In 2017—which was 240 years after the first constitution was ratified—citizens of the state voted on the question for the 13th time. Of the 12 questions asked before 2017, seven resulted in constitutional conventions being held, and four led to new state constitutions. Prior to 1900, four of five questions were approved. Between 1900 and 1999, three of seven questions were approved, representing a lower rate of approval compared to the previous century.[1]

State of ballot measure campaigns

Supporters of holding a state constitutional convention organized six political action committees. The committees had raised a combined total of $1.01 million, as of the latest disclosure reports from December 2017. Bill Samuels, a Democratic fundraiser, was the top contributor to supporters, donating $517,605.[2] Groups that endorsed Proposal 1 included the NY State Bar Association, the NY City Bar Association, League of Women Voters of NY State, Citizens Union, and Forward March NY.[3][4][5] Opponents of holding a convention organized as New Yorkers Against Corruption.[6] The opposition PACs had raised $4.28 million, with unions and labor organizations making the five largest contributions.[2] Organizations opposed to Proposal 1 included the NY State AFL-CIO, United Federation of Teachers, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, Right to Life, and the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association.[6]

Calling for and holding a constitutional convention

Section 2 of Article XIX of the New York Constitution provided for the automatic referral of a constitutional convention question every 20 years, including in 2017. The ballot question is the first step in the process of calling a constitutional convention in New York. If a majority of voters had cast their ballots in favor of holding a convention on November 7, 2017, voters would have elected 204 convention delegates on November 6, 2018. Fifteen of the delegates would have been elected statewide. Three would have been elected from each of the state's 63 senate districts, totaling 189. The constitutional convention would have convened on April 2, 2019, in Albany. Delegates would have been allowed to draft a new constitution or amendments to the existing constitution. Referring a constitution or amendment to the ballot would have required a simple majority vote of the delegates. Citizens would have voted on the convention-proposed changes to the constitution on November 5, 2019. An approved constitution or approved amendments would have taken effect on January 1, 2020.[7] Below is a flowchart detailing the process:

New York Article XIX Constitutional Convention Process, 2017 - 2020

Text of measure

Ballot question

The ballot question was as follows:[8]

Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?[9]

Ballot summary

The ballot summary was as follows:[8]

The New York State Constitution requires that every 20 years the people decide if a Constitutional Convention should be held to consider amendments to the State Constitution. The purpose of this Ballot Question is to allow the voters of New York State to determine whether a Constitutional Convention will be held in 2019.

{If a majority voting on this Question votes NO, there will be no Constitutional Convention.

If a majority votes YES, three delegates from each state senatorial district and 15 atlarge statewide delegates will be elected in November 2018. The delegates will convene at the Capitol in April 2019. Amendments adopted by a majority of the delegates will be submitted to the voters for approval or rejection in a statewide referendum to be held at least six weeks after the Convention adjourns. The delegates will determine whether to submit proposed amendments as separate questions. Any amendments that the voters approve will go into effect on the January 1 following their approval.

If a majority votes in favor of a Constitutional Convention, then the delegates will receive for their services the same compensation as that payable to Members of the Assembly. The delegates also will be reimbursed for actual traveling expenses while the Convention is in session, to the extent that Members of the Assembly would be entitled reimbursement during a session of the Legislature.

The delegates will have the power to appoint the officers, employees, and assistants that they deem necessary and to fix the compensation of those officers, employees, and assistants. The delegates also will have the power to provide for the expenses of the Convention, including the printing of its documents, journal, and proceedings. The delegates will determine the rules of their proceedings, choose their officers, and be the judge of the election, returns, and qualifications of their members. A vacancy in an office of district delegate will be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates representing the district in which the vacancy occurs; a vacancy in the office of a delegate-at-large will be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates-at-large.

Constitutional mandate

See also: Section 2, Article XIX, New York Constitution

Section 2 of Article XIX of the New York Constitution provided for the automatic referral of the constitutional convention question and outlined a timeframe and structure for electing delegates and holding the convention:[7] Note: Use your mouse to scroll over the below text to see the full text.

At the general election to be held in the year nineteen hundred fifty-seven, and every twentieth year thereafter, and also at such times as the legislature may by law provide, the question "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?" shall be submitted to and decided by the electors of the state; and in case a majority of the electors voting thereon shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the electors of every senate district of the state, as then organized, shall elect three delegates at the next ensuing general election, and the electors of the state voting at the same election shall elect fifteen delegates-at-large. The delegates so elected shall convene at the capitol on the first Tuesday of April next ensuing after their election, and shall continue their session until the business of such convention shall have been completed. Every delegate shall receive for his or her services the same compensation as shall then be annually payable to the members of the assembly and be reimbursed for actual traveling expenses, while the convention is in session, to the extent that a member of the assembly would then be entitled thereto in the case of a session of the legislature. A majority of the convention shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and no amendment to the constitution shall be submitted for approval to the electors as hereinafter provided, unless by the assent of a majority of all the delegates elected to the convention, the ayes and noes being entered on the journal to be kept. The convention shall have the power to appoint such officers, employees and assistants as it may deem necessary, and fix their compensation and to provide for the printing of its documents, journal, proceedings and other expenses of said convention. The convention shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, choose its own officers, and be the judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its members. In case of a vacancy, by death, resignation or other cause, of any district delegate elected to the convention, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates representing the district in which such vacancy occurs. If such vacancy occurs in the office of a delegate-at-large, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates-at-large. Any proposed constitution or constitutional amendment which shall have been adopted by such convention, shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state at the time and in the manner provided by such convention, at an election which shall be held not less than six weeks after the adjournment of such convention. Upon the approval of such constitution or constitutional amendments, in the manner provided in the last preceding section, such constitution or constitutional amendment, shall go into effect on the first day of January next after such approval.[9]

Readability score

See also: Ballot measure readability scores, 2017
Using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) formulas, Ballotpedia scored the readability of the ballot title and summary for this measure. Readability scores are designed to indicate the reading difficulty of text. The Flesch-Kincaid formulas account for the number of words, syllables, and sentences in a text; they do not account for the difficulty of the ideas in the text. The New York Board of Elections wrote the ballot language for this measure.


The FKGL for the ballot title is grade level 8, and the FRE is 63.5. The word count for the ballot title is 13, and the estimated reading time is 3 seconds. The FKGL for the ballot summary is grade level 14, and the FRE is 38. The word count for the ballot summary is 345, and the estimated reading time is 1 minute and 32 seconds.


Support

NYPeoplesConvention 2017.png
NY Says Yes 2017.png

The NY People's Convention and Committee for a Constitutional Convention, also known as New York Says Yes, led the campaign in support of the ballot question.[10][11][12] The organization Restrict & Regulate in NY State 2019, which sought to approve the convention question and then campaign for a marijuana legalization amendment, also formed a political action committee.[13]

Supporters

Officials

Organizations

  • New York State Bar Association[3]
  • New York City Bar Association[3]
  • Citizens Union[4]
  • League of Women Voters of New York State[5]
  • Forward March New York[16]
  • New Kings Democrats[17]
  • Restrict & Regulate in NY State 2019[13]
  • Divide NYS Caucus[18]

Arguments

The Committee for a Constitutional Convention, one of the groups registered to support the question, stated:[19]

A constitutional convention, designed to enable the public to overcome entrenched interests, will in all likelihood be opposed by those entrenched interests, including the Legislature. That’s precisely the situation that the Constitution anticipates by giving the public every 20 years the right to convene a constitutional convention. All the entrenched interests will fight hard against a convention to preserve their prerogatives. If a convention is ultimately called, they will also fight to elect Delegates willing to protect those prerogatives. But for all of us a constitutional convention is a unique opportunity to secure needed change, and the election of Delegates committed to needed change has happened before and can be achieved again.[9]

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-131) said the state was long overdue for a constitutional convention. He stated:[14]

The beauty and necessity of a Constitutional Convention lies in its ability to reform the system and empower the people of New York to facilitate needed change. Voter empowerment is part of the very fabric of who we are as a nation. There is no more effective way to engage the public than a Constitutional Convention, and there is no place that needs it more than Albany. ...

It took seven years for the Legislature to act on a bill that strips convicted public officials of their taxpayer-funded pensions. This is among the most basic, common-sense bills I have come across in my 16 years in the Assembly. But it took seven years for it to move. Albany doesn’t act quickly or decisively enough. But, through a Constitutional Convention, the people can force action that lawmakers are unwilling to take.[9]

Evan Davis, a lawyer who served as counsel to former Gov. Mario Cuomo (D) and founder of the Committee for a Constitutional Convention, said:[20]

There are a number of changes that need to be made to strengthen the constitution that the Legislature is never going to adopt … so the only way to get these changes made is to get it through a convention where the people would elect delegates committed to making the changes.[9]

Other arguments in support of the measure included:

  • Peter J. Galie, author of Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York, said, "Trump’s election emphasizes how valuable it is for states to chart their own course. We can put a right to clean air and water in our Constitution. If we want to add more labor protections, we can do it. That’s the beauty of federalism."[21]

Campaign advertisements

The following were campaign advertisements of the NY People's Convention.[22]

Title: "An Introduction to New York’s 2017 ..."
Title: "NY People's Convention PSA 2"

Opposition

New Yorkers Against Corruption 2017.png

New Yorkers Against Corruption (NYAC) led the campaign in opposition to the ballot question.[23][6] The campaign manager of NYAC was Jordan Marks.[24]

Coalition

On June 19, 2017, a coalition of organizations formed the campaign New Yorkers Against Corruption.[25] As of September 26, 2017, 146 organizations joined the coalition. The following were listed as members of the coalition on the campaign's website:[6]

  • Adirondack Council
  • NYS Conservative Party
  • Council of Churches
  • CSEA
  • Citizen Action New York
  • Environmental Advocates of New York
  • Equality New York
  • New York State AFL-CIO
  • New York State Alliance for Retired Americans
  • New York State Professional Fire Fighters
  • New York State Rifle and Pistol Association
  • Planned Parenthood Empire States Acts
  • Right to Life
  • New York Republican State Committee
  • Strong Economy for All Coalition
  • Working Families Party
  • NYSUT
  • AFSCME NY
  • UFT
  • RWDSU
  • AFSCME DC37
  • NYS Public Employees Federation (PEF)
  • 1199SEIU
  • New York Farm Bureau
  • AFM Local 802
  • Albany County Central Federation of Labor
  • Alliance of South Asian American Labor
  • Alliance of South Asian American Labor - Staten Island Chapter
  • Bronx GOP
  • Buffalo Central Labor Council
  • Buffalo Branch NAACP
  • Capital District Area Labor Federation
  • Cattaraugus Allegany Central Labor Council
  • CBTU NY Chapter
  • CBTU Region 1
  • CBTU Rochester Chapter
  • Central New York Area Labor Federation
  • Central NY Central Labor Council of Oneida & Herkimer Counties
  • Chemung County Democratic Party
  • Chemung Schulery Central Labor Council
  • Citizens for a Better Southern Tier
  • City of Corning Democratic Party
  • Coalition for Economic Justice
  • Community Voices Heard
  • CWA District One
  • CWA Local 1122
  • CWA Local 1108
  • CWW Rochester
  • Dunkirk Central Labor Council
  • Dutchess County Central Labor Council
  • Eastern New York Pride @ Work
  • Elmira City Democratic Party
  • Equality Long Island
  • Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Greater Southern Tier BOCES Support Staff Association
  • Greater Syracuse Council on Occupational Safety & Health
  • Horseheads Teachers' Association
  • Hudson Catskill Central Labor Council
  • Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation
  • Humanists of Long Island
  • IBEW - Local Union 10
  • IBEW Local 139
  • Indivisible Patriots of Long Island
  • Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing
  • Jamestown Central Labor Council
  • Jefferson Lewis & St. Lawrence Counties Central Trades & Labor Council
  • Kate Mullany CLUW
  • Labor Religion Coalition
  • Labor Religion Coalition of the Finger Lakes
  • New York State Association of Electrical Workers
  • IBEW Local 10
  • IBEW Local 43
  • LGBT Network
  • LITAC Long Island Transgender
  • Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW
  • Long Island Federation of Labor
  • Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY)
  • Long Island Jobs with Justice
  • Long Island LGBT Community Center
  • Long Island Progressive Coalition
  • Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition
  • Make the Road New York
  • Metro New York A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary
  • Move Forward Long Island
  • New York City Central Labor Council
  • New York Committee on Occupational Health and Safety
  • New York Communities for Change
  • New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU)
  • New York Progressive Action Network of the Southern Finger Lakes
  • Niagara Orleans Central Labor Council
  • North Country Peace Group
  • Northeast Central Labor Council
  • NYC & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters
  • NYC Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
  • NYS PEF Retirees
  • NYSUT Local #11-226
  • Port Authority PBA
  • Pride at Work - NYC/LI
  • Pride at Work - Rochester/Finger Lakes
  • Professional Staff Congress
  • Progressive East End Reformers
  • Queens LGBT Community Center (QCenter)
  • Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation
  • Rochester & Vicinity Labor Council
  • Rochester Metro Justice
  • Rochester Next Up
  • Rockland County Central Labor Council
  • SEIU 32 BJ
  • Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders-Long Island (SAGE-LI)
  • Staten Island Republican Party
  • Steuben Livingston Central Labor Council
  • Suffolk Child Care Council
  • Teamsters Joint Council 16
  • Teamsters Local 814
  • Tioga County Republican Party
  • Tri-County Central Labor Council
  • TWU Local 100
  • TWU NY/NJ State Conference
  • UAW Local 2110
  • UAW Region 9A New York Area CAP Council
  • UFCW Local 1500
  • United Steelworkers District 4
  • Upper Hudson Central Labor Council
  • WESPAC
  • Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body
  • Western New York Area Labor Federation
  • Writers Guild of America, East
  • Yonkers PBA
  • Citizens Campaign for the Environment
  • United University Professions
  • Police Conference of New York Inc
  • New York Progressive Action Network
  • Uniformed Firefighters Association
  • ALIGN: The Alliance for Greater New York
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition
  • Rural and Migrant Ministry
  • Worker Justice Center of NY, Inc.
  • SEIU Local 200
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
  • IBEW Local 86
  • IBEW Local 3
  • IBEW Local 41
  • IBEW Local 139

Other opponents

Officials

Parties

  • Independent Democratic Conference[31]

Organizations

  • New York Civil Liberties Union[33]
  • Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York[34]
  • Concerned Citizens for Change[35]

Arguments

The United Federation of Teachers stated the following on the constitutional convention question:[36]

A constitutional convention is unlimited in the scope of what it could change. This would place New York State’s rights and protections at risk of alteration or elimination, including the guarantee of a free public education, a prohibition against aid to non-public schools and the right to Workers’ Compensation. The right to unionize and bargain collectively and state requirements regarding pensions and social welfare could also wind up on the chopping block.[9]

District Council 37, a public employee union, stated:[37]

If this sounds like a long and cumbersome process, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is also a wasteful process that would give big business interests and anti-worker interests the opportunity to attack public services and the retirement security of the men and women who provide them.

If successful, these special interests would:

  • do untold damage to our retirement security by changing pension laws to reduce retirement benefits;
  • weaken the power of the state legislature on budget matters;
  • restrict and redefine the state government’s role in providing services for those in need; and
  • turn back the clock on workers’ compensation laws.[9]

Anthony Figliola, vice president of Empire Government Strategies, said:[38]

History has shown that a constitutional convention is nothing more than a carbon copy of a typical legislative session. In short, it’s a $335 million-plus workforce development initiative for the politically connected. ...

There is a less costly and more effective approach to changing our constitution and that is the public referendum process, which has successfully amended the constitution more than 200 times. ...

Voters seeking good government solutions can’t afford the luxury of another convention.[9]

Other arguments against the measure included:

  • Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-83) said, “We are going to need you to remind people that dangerous things can happen. There are some very wealthy people who want to open up the constitution and really undo some of the protections for labor.”[31]
  • Steve Ammerman, spokesperson for the New York Farm Bureau, said he was concerned that "convention delegates who are unfamiliar with agriculture and rural life would make long lasting decisions that will negatively affect farmers."[39]

Campaign advertisements

The following were campaign advertisements of the New York State United Teachers, a coalition member of New Yorkers Against Corruption.[40]

Title: "No New York Constitutional Convention!"

Other positions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) supported the idea of constitutional conventions, but expressed concern about the delegate selection process. He said:[41]

[Y]ou have to find a way where the delegates do not wind up being the same legislators who you are trying to change the rules on. I have not heard a plan that does that.

The theory of the constitutional convention is just good people come in and they're the delegates. The way it will work is you'll probably elect assemblymen and senators as delegates. And the unions will probably fund the campaigns. And you may make the situation worse, not better.[9]

Campaign finance

Total campaign contributions:
Support: $1,006,227.46
Opposition: $4,282,178.99
See also: Campaign finance requirements for New York ballot measures

In 2017, there were six political action committees, the Committee for a Constitutional Convention, NY People's Convention PAC, New York State Bar Association for a Constitutional Convention, League of Women Voters of NYS Committee for Constitutional Convention, Citizens Union of the City of New York, and Restrict & Regulate in NY State 2019 registered in support of the constitutional convention question. The committees reported $1.01 million in contributions and $1.02 million in expenditures.[2]

The top contributor in support of the question was Democratic fundraiser Bill Samuels, who contributed $366,725 in cash and $153,380 in in-kind services.[2]

There were three committees, New Yorkers Against Corruption, Say No to a Constitutional Convention (SNCC), and the Committee to Defend Forever Wild registered in opposition to the constitutional convention question. The committees reported $4.28 million in contributions and $4.22 million in expenditures.[2]

The top contributor in opposition to the question was the New York State United Teachers, which contributed $1.04 million.[2]

Support

The following were contribution and expenditure totals for committees in support of the ballot question.[2]

Committees in support of the Constitutional Convention Question
Supporting committeesCash contributionsIn-kind servicesCash expenditures
Committee for a Constitutional Convention$115,096.87$1,243.06$101,489.29
NY People's Convention PAC$370,946.00$153,380.21$370,751.51
Restrict & Regulate in NY State 2019$46,111.15[42]$229,714.28$38,770.29
New York State Bar Association for a Constitutional Convention$5,000.00$29,515.28$4,666.20
League of Women Voters of NYS Committee for Constitutional Convention$6,271.41$1,374.20$6,271.41
Citizens Union of the City of New York$47,575.00$0.00$83,510.57[43]
Total$591,000.43$415,227.03$605,459.27
Totals in support
Total raised:$1,006,227.46
Total spent:$1,020,686.30

Donors

The following were the top six donors who contributed to the support committees:[2]

Donor Cash In-kind Total
William C. Samuels $366,725.00 $153,380.21 $517,605.21
Jerome W. Dewald $32,601.55[42] $229,714.28 $262,315.83
New York State Bar Association $5,000.00 $29,515.28 $34,515.28
Citizens Union of the City of New York $30,000.00 $0.00 $30,000.00
Friends of Evan Davis $10,000.00 $0.00 $10,000.00
League of Women Voters of NYS $3,686.13 $1,374.20 $5,060.33

Opposition

The following were contribution and expenditure totals for committees in opposition the ballot question.[2]

Committees in opposition to the Constitutional Convention Question
Opposing committeesCash contributionsIn-kind servicesCash expenditures
New Yorkers Against Corruption$4,012,014.89$246,209.10$3,948,931.23
Say No to a Constitutional Convention$0.00$0.00$0.00
Committee to Defend Forever Wild$0.00$23,955.00$0.00
Total$4,012,014.89$270,164.10$3,948,931.23
Totals in opposition
Total raised:$4,282,178.99
Total spent:$4,219,095.33

Donors

The following were the top six donors who contributed to the opposition committees:[2]

Donor Cash In-kind Total
New York State United Teachers $1,022,000.00 $22,000.00 $1,044,000.00
AFSCME $450,000.00 $73,475.00 $523,475.00
Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) $450,000.00 $0.00 $450,000.00
SEIU 1199 $250,000.00 $0.00 $250,000.00
NYS AFL-CIO $180,000.00 $21,884.64 $201,884.64
CWA Strategic Industry Fund $200,000.00 $0.00 $200,000.00

Reporting dates

New York ballot measure committees filed a total of five campaign finance reports in 2017. The filing dates for reports were as follows:[44]

Methodology

To read Ballotpedia's methodology for covering ballot measure campaign finance information, click here.

Media editorials

See also: 2017 ballot measure media endorsements

Support

  • Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (November 3, 2017) said: "On the question whether to approve Ballot Proposal 1, the answer for every New York voter who doesn’t think the status quo works well for us is an unflinching 'yes.'"[45]
  • Syracuse.com (October 22, 2017) said: "A constitutional convention would give voters a path to making state government work better for them - a path their elected state legislators simply refuse to walk. ... A constitutional convention bypasses the intransigent state Legislature (and its sometime enabler, Gov. Andrew Cuomo). It gives citizens the power to make dramatic changes to the way government works. This unnerves the people in power."[46]
  • Democrat & Chronicle (October 21, 2017) said: "There is no question that change is badly needed in state government. The unknown, however, is whether opening the state’s Constitution will bring about positive change, or simply make matters worse. We believe the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks, and that voters, themselves, can safeguard against disaster. This is as close as it gets to “by the people, for the people.”[47]
  • The Journal News (September 29, 2017) said: "Voters haven't called a constitutional convention since 1938. Another opportunity for the public to convene one won't come until a century later, in 2037. At a time when many have become cynical about government, what better time than now to try to show that democracy does still work?"[48]
  • The Buffalo News (August 11, 2017) said: "These are serious questions, but they hover over this undeniable fact: New York is a damaged and corrupt state that will not fix itself. Any hope for improvement must come from voters. This fall, they will have a chance to force the issues that Albany prefers to ignore."[49]
  • New York Daily News (May 22, 2017) said: "The state’s government is a scandalous embarrassment. It is tilted to keep incumbents in power, to please special interests and to thwart reform. It is a system that, even on its good days, is maddeningly dysfunctional. ... At a moment of pervasive political cynicism and a hopelessness that government can get much good done, New York has a chance to renew itself for the sake of future generations."[50]
  • The Press Republican (December 17, 2015) said: "New Yorkers will be asked in 2017 whether to convene a constitutional convention to consider fundamental changes to their state's document. The answer should be a resounding “Yes.” It's a chance to curb the corruption that has all but depleted respect for the government in Albany."[51]

Opposition

  • The Post Journal (October 25, 2017) said: "Imagine all of the costly, pie-in-the-sky ideas that come out every year in the State of the State address being on the table without the legislative process to keep things at least slightly in check. A constitutional convention could cost New York state millions of dollars in costly new regulations and programs that then can’t easily be repealed because they are part of the state constitution."[52]
  • The Daily Gazette (October 22, 2017) said: "To believe that a mass gathering of political insiders will be some kind of magical cure to all of the problems and shortcomings of our state government, to believe that it will cure all our disappointments and frustrations, is not just overly optimistic. It’s foolhardy. Voters should not be duped into believing that a statewide constitutional convention will be anything more than more of the same."[53]
  • Times Herald-Record (October 22, 2017) said: "The first question, whether or not to have a convention, is being asked in an off-off year, meaning a minority of New Yorkers will decide. In a state where incumbency is a job guarantee, there is little chance for outsiders to get elected as delegates to the convention. And the assurance that any amendments will be subject to further scrutiny is weak at best considering the way the political bosses managed to get voter approval for perpetual gerrymandering in a 2014 vote by calling it something else."[54]

Other

  • The Niagara Gazette (January 2, 2016) did not take a position on the ballot question in its editorial, but said: "But like any knee-jerk reaction to an issue difficult to deal with, we shouldn’t consider a constitutional convention a kind of magic panacea, a quick cure for what ails us."[55]
  • The New Paltz Oracle (November 2, 2017) said: "This entire debate boils down to the level of faith one has in the Convention’s protective mechanisms and the integrity of the average New York voter. A constitutional convention is a huge opportunity for positive reform, but it involves putting decades of already-established reforms at risk. We at The New Paltz Oracle cannot tell you how to fill in the back of your ballot next month; we only ask that any decision made is an educated one. The magnitude of the outcome will be too high to have been decided with minimal information."[56]

Polls

See also: Polls, 2017 ballot measures

Siena College polls

Siena College polled registered voters in New York on their support for holding a state constitutional convention. In 2015 and 2016, Siena College found that support for a constitutional convention among respondents was between 60 percent and 69 percent. This level of support continued in 2017, with Siena College's mid-May poll indicating that support was 62 percent. Support for holding a constitutional convention dropped 15 percentage points to 47 percent in Siena College's poll in mid-July. In a late August 2017 poll, support dropped further to 45 percent. In late September 2017, support decreased to 44 percent and opposition increased to 39 percent. In October 2017, polling showed support had dropped to 25 percent and opposition had risen to 57 percent.

Between 2015 and May 2017, Siena College polled respondents with the following question: "Do you support or oppose having a New York State Constitutional Convention in which delegates propose changes to the State Constitution for voters to approve or reject?" In Siena College's July 2017, August 2017, September 2017, and October 2017 polls, respondents answered the following question: "Specifically, the November ballot question on a Constitutional Convention will ask, "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?" Will you vote "yes" to have a Constitutional Convention or "no" to not have a Constitutional Convention?"

Poll results

New York Constitutional Convention Question (2017)
Poll Support OpposeUndecidedMargin of errorSample size
Siena College
10/25/2017-10/29/2017
25.0%57.0%18.0%+/-3.4814
Siena College
9/25/2017-9/28/2017
44.0%39.0%17.0%+/-4.0789
Siena College
8/26/2017-8/30/2017
45.0%33.0%22.0%+/-4.2771
Siena College
7/9/2017-7/13/2017
47.0%34.0%19.0%+/-4.0793
Quinnipiac University
7/5/2017-7/10/2017
55.0%30.0%15.0%+/-3.91,137
Siena College
5/15/2017-5/21/2017
62.0%22.0%17.0%+/-4.0770
Siena College
6/22/2016 - 6/28/2016
68.0%19.0%13.0%+/-4.0803
Siena College
4/24/2016 - 4/27/2016
69.0%19.0%12.0%+/-4.1802
Siena College
10/18/2015 - 10/22/2015
60.0%25.0%15.0%+/-4.0806
Siena College
7/6/2015 - 7/9/2015
69.0%15.0%16.0%+/-3.9802
Siena College
6/7/2010 - 6/9/2010
58.0%26.0%16.0%+/-6.8808
Marist Poll
9/8/2009 - 9/10/2009
42.0%48.0%10.0%+/-3.5805
Siena College
8/17/2009 - 8/20/2009
63.0%25.0%12.0%+/-3.9621
Quinnipiac University
8/10/2009 - 8/13/2009
64.0%24.0%11.0%+/-2.41,667
Quinnipiac University
6/9/2004 - 6/14/2004
52.0%34.0%14.0%+/-2.61,466
AVERAGES 54.87% 30% 15.13% +/-3.91 910.27
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Background

New Yorkers voted on 13 constitutional convention questions during the 240 years between 1777 and 2016, with the first in 1821. Of those 12 asked before 2017, seven resulted in constitutional conventions being held and four led to new constitutions. Prior to 1900, four of five (80 percent) questions were approved. Between 1900 and 2000, three of seven (43 percent) questions were approved, representing a lower rate of approval compared to the previous century.[1]

The table below provides an overview of the 13 constitutional convention questions that were asked between 1777 and 2017. The column labeled origin provides information on whether the question was referred to the ballot by the New York Legislature or automatically by the state constitution. The columns titled pre-convention constitution and post-convention constitution communicate which constitution was active before and after a constitutional convention was held and resulting amendments voted on. As of 2017, New York had five different state constitutions since 1777.[57]

Year Percent Yes Percent No Outcome Origin Pre-Convention Constitution Post-Convention Constitution
1821 75.80% 24.20%
Approveda
Legislature 1777 constitution 1821 constitution (ratified)
1845 86.30% 13.70%
Approveda
Legislature 1821 constitution 1846 constitution (ratified)
1858 48.85% 51.15%
Defeatedd
Legislature 1846 constitution No convention
1866 57.92% 42.08%
Approveda
Automatic 1846 constitution 1846 constitution (no changes)
1886 94.92% 5.08%
Approveda
Automatic 1846 constitution 1894 constitution (ratified)
1914 50.22% 49.78%
Approveda
Legislature 1894 constitution 1894 constitution (no changes)
1916 43.49% 56.51%
Defeatedd
Automatic 1894 constitution No convention
1936 54.29% 45.71%
Approveda
Automatic 1894 constitution 1938 constitution (ratified)
1957 47.60% 52.40%
Defeatedd
Automatic 1938 constitution No convention
1965 53.38% 46.62%
Approveda
Legislature 1938 constitution 1938 constitution (no changes)
1977 40.32% 59.68%
Defeatedd
Automatic 1938 constitution No convention
1997 37.05% 62.95%
Defeatedd
Automatic 1938 constitution No convention
2017 16.97% 83.03% Defeatedd Automatic 1938 constitution No convention
Average 57.51% 42.49%
Sources: New York Department of State, "Votes Cast For and Against Proposed Constitutional Conventions and Also Proposed Constitutional Amendments," accessed February 1, 2017
Snider, J.H. "Does the World Really Belong to the Living? The Decline of the Constitutional Convention in New York and Other US States, 1776–2015." American Political Thought 6, 3. (2017): pages 256-293.
Bailly, R.M. & Fein, S.N. (2016). Making a Modern Constitution: The Prospects for Constitutional Reform in New York. Albany, NY: New York State Bar Association. (page 85)

Conventions, 1800-1899

The New York Constitutions of 1846, 1894, and 1938 on constitutional conventions

Constitution of 1846[58]

At the general election, to be held in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-six, and in each twentieth year thereafter, and also at such time as the legislature may by law provide, the question "Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution, and amend the same?” shall be decided by the electors qualified to vote for members of the legislature; and in case a majority of the electors so qualified, voting at such election, shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the legislature, at its next session, shall provide by law for the election of delegates to such convention.[9]

Constitution of 1894[59]

At the general election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred and sixteen, and every twentieth year thereafter, and also at such times as the Legislature may by law provide, the question, "Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?" shall be decided by the electors of the State; and in case a majority of the electors voting thereon shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the electors of every senate district of the State, as then organized, shall elect three delegates at the next ensuing general election at which members of the Assembly shall be chosen, and the electors of the State voting at the same election shall elect fifteen delegates at large. The delegates so elected shall convene at the capitol on the first Tuesday of April next ensuing after their election, and shall continue their session until the business of such convention shall have been completed. Every delegate shall receive for his services the same compensation and the same mileage as shall then be annually payable to the members of the Assembly. A majority of the convention shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and no amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted for approval to the electors as hereinafter provided, unless by the assent of a majority of all the delegates elected to the convention, the yeas and nays being entered on the journal to be kept. The convention shall have the power to appoint such officers, employes and assistants as it may deem necessary, and fix their compensation and to provide for the printing of its documents, journal and proceedings. The convention shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, choose its own officers, and be the judge of the election, returns and qualification of its members. In case of a vacancy, by death, resignation or other cause, of any district delegate elected to the convention, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates representing the district in which such vacancy occurs. If such vacancy occurs in the office of a delegate-at-large, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates-at-large. Any proposed constitution or constitutional amendment which shall have been adopted by such convention, shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the State at the time and in the manner provided by such convention, at an election which shall be held not less than six weeks after the adjournment of such convention. Upon the approval of such constitution or constitutional amendments, in the manner provided in the last preceding section, such constitution or constitutional amendment, shall go into effect on the first day of January next after such approval.[9]

Constitution of 1938[7][60]

At the general election to be held in the year nineteen hundred fifty-seven, and every twentieth year thereafter, and also at such times as the legislature may by law provide, the question “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” shall be submitted to and decided by the electors of the state; and in case a majority of the electors voting thereon shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the electors of every senate district of the state, as then organized, shall elect three delegates at the next ensuing general election, and the electors of the state voting at the same election shall elect fifteen delegates-at-large. The delegates so elected shall convene at the capitol on the first Tuesday of April next ensuing after their election, and shall continue their session until the business of such convention shall have been completed. Every delegate shall receive for his or her services the same compensation as shall then be annually payable to the members of the assembly and be reimbursed for actual traveling expenses, while the convention is in session, to the extent that a member of the assembly would then be entitled thereto in the case of a session of the legislature. A majority of the convention shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and no amendment to the constitution shall be submitted for approval to the electors as hereinafter provided, unless by the assent of a majority of all the delegates elected to the convention, the ayes and noes being entered on the journal to be kept. The convention shall have the power to appoint such officers, employees and assistants as it may deem necessary, and fix their compensation and to provide for the printing of its documents, journal, proceedings and other expenses of said convention. The convention shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, choose its own officers, and be the judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its members. In case of a vacancy, by death, resignation or other cause, of any district delegate elected to the convention, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates representing the district in which such vacancy occurs. If such vacancy occurs in the office of a delegate-at-large, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates-at-large. Any proposed constitution or constitutional amendment which shall have been adopted by such convention, shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state at the time and in the manner provided by such convention, at an election which shall be held not less than six weeks after the adjournment of such convention. Upon the approval of such constitution or constitutional amendments, in the manner provided in the last preceding section, such constitution or constitutional amendment, shall go into effect on the first day of January next after such approval.[9]

On April 20, 1777, New York adopted a state constitution, declaring reconciliation with Great Britain to be remote and uncertain.[61][62] The 1777 constitution did not provide for a process to call constitutional conventions or adopt constitutional amendments.[63] In 1801, the state Legislature passed a bill to hold a constitutional convention tasked with deciding the membership size of the state's two legislative chambers and writing an article addressing government appointments. Citizens did not vote on whether to hold the convention or approve the amendments, but registered voters did elect the convention's delegates.[64]

A constitutional convention question was submitted to the people on April 24, 1821. Over 75 percent voted to hold a convention.[1] A new constitution was written, and voters approved the document the following year. Like the 1777 constitution, the 1821 constitution did not institute a mechanism to call for a constitutional convention.[64]

In 1845, the state's second constitutional convention question was referred to the ballot. Voters approved the question 86 to 14 percent.[1] Delegates at the convention crafted a constitutional amendment to provide for the automatic referral of a constitutional convention question to voters in 1866 and every 20 years thereafter.[64][58] The amendment, along with a new constitution, was approved in 1846.[1]

While the 1846 constitution scheduled the next constitutional convention question for 1866, the state government referred a question to the ballot on November 2, 1858. According to Peter J. Galie, author of Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York, one of the primary reasons for referring a question was that fiscal and canal policies in the 1846 constitution were hindering the state from dealing with falling state canal revenues and increasing state expenditures.[65] Voters narrowly rejected the call for a constitutional convention.[1]

The first automatically-referred constitutional convention question appeared on the ballot in 1866. Although voters approved the question 58 to 42 percent, they subsequently rejected a new constitution that was developed by the convention's delegates.[1]

In 1886, 95 percent of voters cast their ballots in favor of holding a constitutional convention.[1] Disputes between Democrats and Republicans over how to select delegates to the convention slowed the process. Democrats won the governorship and both legislative chambers, forming a state government trifecta, in 1892, and therefore could decide how to select delegates. Delegates were selected from the state's 32 senate districts and 15 were selected at-large. A new constitution was written, mandating how delegates would be elected at future constitutional conventions, when conventions would be convened, and providing for the automatic referral of constitutional convention questions.[64] The constitution called for a constitutional convention in 1916 and every 20 years thereafter.[59] Voters approved the new constitution in 1894.[1]

Conventions, 1900-1999

Voting on
Constitutional Conventions
Concon ontheballot.jpg
Ballot Measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot


The 1894 constitution authorized a constitutional convention question to appear on the ballot in 1916. However, Governor Martin H. Glynn (D) was concerned that other national and state issues would overshadow the ballot question. The state Legislature called for a special election and convention question for April 7, 1914.[63] Voters narrowly approved the question, but rejected the amendments proposed by the convention in 1915. An automatically-referred constitutional convention question appeared on the ballot in 1916, but voters rejected calling for one.[1]

During the Great Depression in 1936, New Yorkers approved a constitutional convention question. Delegates focused on giving the state constitutional powers to address social welfare, which resulted in Article 17 and Article 18 of the New York Constitution. Voters approved six of the nine ballot measures, which together packaged 58 proposed constitutional amendments, in 1938.[63] The document resulting from the 1938 convention is often referred to as the state's fifth constitution.[57] However, the document was not a complete rewrite of the 1894 constitution and could be considered a modification of the state's fourth constitution.[65] The 1938 constitution provided for the automatic referral of constitutional convention questions starting in 1957 and every 20 years thereafter.[7]

Voters rejected an automatic constitutional convention question in 1957. The Democratic-controlled Legislature passed a bill to refer a constitutional convention question to the ballot in 1965. Voters approved the question.[1][63] Delegates addressed issues such as shortening the state constitution, eliminating obsolete provisions, and removing sections that could be reenacted as statutes. A new constitution, half of the length of the 1938 constitution, was written and packaged as one ballot measure for the election on November 7, 1967.[65] Over 70 percent of voters rejected the proposed constitution.[1]

In 1977 and 1997, constitutional convention questions were automatically referred to the ballot. Both were defeated at the ballot box. The 1977 vote recorded the highest percentage of No votes of all constitutional convention question asked thus far at 60 percent.[1] The No votes on the 1997 question topped the 1977 question, with 63 percent rejecting the idea of holding a constitutional convention.[66]

A constitutional convention question appeared on the ballot in New York on November 7, 2017.

Proposals

If voters had approved the constitutional convention question, the next step would have been to elect delegates to the convention. Delegates are the persons who would have decided what issues to address during the convention. Leading up to the election in 2017, organizations and individuals have made suggestions about what issues could be addressed at a convention. The following table is a list of some of the suggestions that were made for constitutional changes prior to the defeat of Proposal 1:

Click Show to view the table.

Proposals for a New York Constitutional Convention, 2017 - 2020

Constitutional right to abortion

On January 30, 2017, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced his support for a state constitutional amendment to preserve the status of abortion under Roe v. Wade.[68][69]

Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts (PPESA), which represents Planned Parenthood in New York, commended the governor’s proposal. Kim Atkins, board chair of PPESA, said, “With a constitutional amendment, that right will be guaranteed by the state constitution, so that it cannot be stripped away, no matter what happens at the federal level.”[69] PPESA came out against Proposal 1, joining the opposition coalition New Yorkers Against Corruption. Robin Chappelle, CEO of PPESA, said a constitutional convention would make women’s rights “vulnerable to powerful special interests that do not stand for the people of New York, especially those already underrepresented.”

Forward March New York, a group that formed ahead of the Women’s March on Washington, endorsed Proposal 1. The group stated, “A single Supreme Court decision could overturn Roe v. Wade and limit New Yorkers’ access to abortion. New York women should be free to make their own healthcare decisions. Safeguarding the right to safe and legal abortions can be achieved through a Con Con.”[70] Forward March NY also called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to support Proposal 1. The governor did not taken a position supporting or opposing the measure.[71]

Path to the ballot

New York Constitution
Seal of New York.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXX
See also: Automatic ballot referral and State constitutional conventions

The New York Constitutional Convention Question of 2017 was an example of an automatic ballot referral, a type of ballot measure that is designed to appear under certain circumstances based on specifications contained in a state's constitution. Section 2 of Article XIX of the New York Constitution provides for the constitutional convention question. The text related to the question is:[7]

At the general election to be held in the year nineteen hundred fifty-seven, and every twentieth year thereafter, and also at such times as the legislature may by law provide, the question "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?" shall be submitted to and decided by the electors of the state...[9]

The question of whether to hold a constitutional convention is an automatic referral in 14 states. In New York, constitutional convention questions appear as automatic ballot referrals in 20-year intervals. Under the 1938 state constitution, the first automatic referral was in 1957, the second was in 1977, the third was in 1997, and the fourth was in 2017. As of 2017, other states that were required to refer constitutional convention questions every 20 years included Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, and Ohio. As of 2017, the Oklahoma Constitution provided for an automatic referral every 20 years, but the legislature failed to follow through with allowing the questions to appear on the ballot in 1990 and 2010. As of 2017, Michigan referred a constitutional convention to the ballot every 16 years. Alaska, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island referred questions every 10 years. Hawaii required that a question be legislatively referred during any nine-year period, with one being automatically referred after nine years if the legislature does not act.

In addition to New York having a constitutional provision that automatically refers a constitutional convention question to the ballot, the state legislature is allowed to refer convention questions to the ballot at any time through a simple majority vote of each chamber. The New York Constitutional Convention Question of 2017 was a constitutionally-mandated automatic referral, not a legislative referral.

Davis v. Board of Elections

  
Lawsuit overview
Issue: Ballot language; whether Proposal 1 needs to be placed on the front of the election ballot
Court: New York Supreme Court 3rd Judicial District
Ruling: Ruled in favor of defendants, allowing Proposal 1 to appear anywhere on the ballot
Plaintiff(s): Evan DavisDefendant(s): New York Board of Elections
Plaintiff argument:
The state Board of Elections needs to present Proposal 1 to voters in an effective manner, which would require placing the measure on the front of the ballot.
Defendant argument:
The state constitution requires the state Board of Elections to submit the question to voters, but does not dictate where on the ballot the question must appear.
  Source: New York Law Journal

Evan Davis, founder of the Committee for a Constitutional Convention and former counsel to Gov. Mario Cuomo (D), filed a lawsuit against the New York Board of Elections in the Supreme Court 3rd Judicial District on August 10, 2017. He filed the lawsuit to get the state Board of Elections' to print Proposal 1 on the front of the election ballot, rather than on the back. Davis stated, "This once-in-a-generation chance to reform state government is too important not to be on the front of the ballot. The public won’t have another chance until 2037."[72] He added that the state Board of Elections needs to place Proposal 1 on the ballot "in a manner that effectively presents it to the voting for public decision," and that without effective presentation "electors are stripped of their right to decide the Convention Question" and "the Election Board has failed to fulfill its constitutionally-mandated duty."[73]

The state Board of Elections told the court that the state constitution requires the state Board of Elections to submit the question to voters, but does not dictate where on the ballot the question must appear.[74]

On August 24, 2017, Justice Richard McNally dismissed the lawsuit against the state Board of Elections. Justice McNally wrote:[74]

The Court finds that Article 19 of the New York State Constitution mandates only that the convention question be submitted to the electorate in the form of a question on the ballot in the upcoming statewide election. It does not dictate where on the ballot it must appear. To grant the relief sought by petitioner would require this Court to read into Article19 legal requirements that simply do not exist. The Court finds the decision of where the convention question should appear on the ballot is a decision relegated to the discretion of the NYSBOE.[9]

State profile

USA New York location map.svg

This excerpt is reprinted here with the permission of the 2016 edition of the Almanac of American Politics and is up to date as of the publication date of that edition. All text is reproduced verbatim, though links have been added by Ballotpedia staff. To read the full chapter on New York, click here.

New York may no longer be the giant among states it once was, but it still packs plenty of heft in American politics. Its governor, Andrew Cuomo, has long been considered presidential timber; its senior U.S. senator, Charles Schumer, is his party's minority leader; and its junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, is a potential future presidential hopeful. Until Justice Antonin Scalia's death, four Supreme Court justices hailed from New York City. And the newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump, lived in a luxury skyscraper in midtown Manhattan.

"Even old New York was once Nieuw Amsterdam," the old song goes. Today's New York - America's largest city, financial capital, artistic and media center, and largest immigrant destination - seems far removed from once tiny, rough-hewn Nieuw Amsterdam. But this is a city with a certain enduring character that goes back to its birth. Less than 2 percent of today's New Yorkers are descended from the Dutch of Nieuw Amsterdam, but ...(read more)

Demographic data for New York
 New YorkU.S.
Total population:19,747,183316,515,021
Land area (sq mi):47,1263,531,905
Race and ethnicity**
White:64.6%73.6%
Black/African American:15.6%12.6%
Asian:8%5.1%
Native American:0.4%0.8%
Pacific Islander:0%0.2%
Two or more:2.9%3%
Hispanic/Latino:18.4%17.1%
Education
High school graduation rate:85.6%86.7%
College graduation rate:34.2%29.8%
Income
Median household income:$59,269$53,889
Persons below poverty level:18.5%11.3%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, "American Community Survey" (5-year estimates 2010-2015)
Click here for more information on the 2020 census and here for more on its impact on the redistricting process in New York.
**Note: Percentages for race and ethnicity may add up to more than 100 percent because respondents may report more than one race and the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity may be selected in conjunction with any race. Read more about race and ethnicity in the census here.

Presidential voting pattern

See also: Presidential voting trends in New York

New York voted for the Democratic candidate in all five presidential elections between 2000 and 2016.

Pivot Counties (2016)

Ballotpedia identified 206 counties that voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012. Collectively, Trump won these Pivot Counties by more than 580,000 votes. Of these 206 counties, 18 are located in New York, accounting for 8.74 percent of the total pivot counties.[75]

More New York coverage on Ballotpedia

Related measures

Constitutional convention questions on the ballot in New York
MeasureStatus
1821 Constitutional Convention Question
Approveda
1845 Constitutional Convention Question
Approveda
1858 Constitutional Convention Question
Defeatedd
1866 Constitutional Convention Question
Approveda
1886 Constitutional Convention Question
Approveda
1914 Constitutional Convention Question
Approveda
1916 Constitutional Convention Question
Defeatedd
1936 Constitutional Convention Question
Approveda
1957 Constitutional Convention Question
Defeatedd
1965 Constitutional Convention Question
Approveda
1977 Constitutional Convention Question
Defeatedd
1997 Constitutional Convention Question
Defeatedd

See also

Recent news

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Footnotes

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 New York Department of State, "Votes Cast For and Against Proposed Constitutional Conventions and Also Proposed Constitutional Amendments," accessed February 1, 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 New York Board of Elections, "Campaign Finance Search," accessed February 2, 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 New York Law Journal, "State Bar Overwhelmingly Approves Constitutional Convention," June 17, 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 Citizens Union, "Policy Position on the 2017 Constitutional Convention Ballot Question," accessed February 3, 2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 League of Women Voters of New York State, "League of Women Voters of New York State Announces Support for 2017 Constitutional Convention Ballot Question," March 27, 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 New Yorkers Against Corruption, "Homepage," accessed June 19, 2017
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 New York Department of State, "The Constitution of the State of New York," accessed February 2, 2017
  8. 8.0 8.1 New York State Board of Elections, "Proposal Certification," August 2, 2017
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributable to the original source. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "quotedisclaimer" defined multiple times with different content
  10. Committee for a Constitutional Convention, "Homepage," accessed January 25, 2017
  11. New York Says Yes, "Homepage," accessed August 22, 2017
  12. NY People's Convention, "Homepage," accessed February 3, 2017
  13. 13.0 13.1 Restrict & Regulate in NY State 2019, "Homepage," accessed August 15, 2017
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Bronx Chronicle, "Op-Ed: The Case for a Constitutional Convention," February 5, 2017
  15. Ithaca.com, "Mayor appears in ad endorsing NYS Constitutional Convention," October 26, 2017
  16. New York Daily News, "Women's group wants Cuomo to back state constitutional convention," August 28, 2017
  17. New Kings Democrats, "Constitutional Convention," accessed February 3, 2017
  18. Divide NYS Caucus, "Homepage," accessed June 27, 2017
  19. Committee for a Constitutional Convention, "Needed Constitutional Changes," accessed February 3, 2017
  20. Politico, "Committee formed to support constitutional convention vote," January 25, 2017
  21. New York Times, "A Constitutional Convention for New York? This May Be the Year," July 5, 2017
  22. Youtube, "NY People's Convention," accessed August 15, 2017
  23. No New York Constitutional Convention, "Homepage," accessed June 19, 2017
  24. Albany Times-Union, "Broad coalition forms to fight constitutional convention," June 19, 2017
  25. Legislative Gazette, "Strange bedfellows: Large, diverse coalition to fight Constitutional Convention," June 19, 2017
  26. City of New York, "Transcript: Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner O'Neill Host Press Conference to Discuss Crime Statistics," April 3, 2017
  27. Politico, "How the cost of a convention became urban legend," February 9, 2017
  28. 28.0 28.1 Oneida Daily Dispatch, "Independent Democrats against constitutional convention," May 1, 2017
  29. New York Daily News, "Democratic lawmaker warns against convention to change N.Y. constitution," May 8, 2017
  30. WRCR, "NYS Senator: I’m Opposed to Constitutional Convention," September 6, 2017
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Gotham Gazette, "As Con Con Debate Heats Up, Heastie Declares Opposition," February 22, 2017
  32. Syracuse.com, "State Sen. John DeFrancisco opposes NY constitutional convention," October 19, 2017
  33. New York Civil Liberties Union, "New York State Constitutional Convention," accessed September 7, 2017
  34. New York Law Journal, "State Supreme Court Justices Oppose Constitutional Convention," October 19, 2017
  35. The Riverside Press, "No need for New York to gamble with con-con," November 3, 2017
  36. United Federation of Teachers, "Why voters should reject constitutional convention," January 5, 2017
  37. DC 37, "No To a Constitutional Convention," February 14, 2017
  38. The Buffalo News, "Another Voice: Constitutional convention is nothing but a con," January 20, 2017
  39. Albany Times Union, "Farmers join push against constitutional convention," August 2, 2017
  40. Youtube, "New York State United Teachers," accessed August 15, 2017
  41. New York Daily News, "Cuomo expresses reservations about state constitutional convention," February 6, 2017
  42. 42.0 42.1 This amount includes a loan of $32,601.55.
  43. Citizens Union of the City of New York's expenditures exceeded contributions because Citizens Union started with funds from prior election cycles and had a negative balance.
  44. ‘'New York Board of Elections, “New York 2017 Campaign Finance Filing Calendar," accessed January 31, 2017
  45. Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, "OUR VIEW: New York needs a Con Con," November 3, 2017
  46. Syracuse.com, "Editorial endorsement: Vote 'yes' on NY constitutional convention," October 22, 2017
  47. Democrat & Chronicle, "Editorial: New York voters should approve Constitutional Convention," October 21, 2017
  48. The Journal News, "Constitutional Convention can put the people in charge: Editorial," September 29, 2017
  49. The Buffalo News, "Editorial: New York needs a constitutional convention," August 11, 2017
  50. New York Daily News, "Fix this government and vote this fall for a Constitutional Convention," May 22, 2017
  51. Press Republican, "Editorial: Constitution flaws must be addressed," December 17, 2015
  52. The Post Journal, "Vote ‘No’ For Constitutional Convention," October 25, 2017
  53. The Daily Gazette, "Endorsement: Vote no on constitutional convention," October 22, 2017
  54. Times Herald-Record, "Convention won’t fix the state constitution," October 22, 2017
  55. Niagara Gazette, "Editorial: A chance to change the constitution," January 2, 2016
  56. The New Paltz Oracle, "ConCon: Constructive or Con-Jobs?" November 2, 2017
  57. 57.0 57.1 Historical Society of the New York Courts, "Charters & Constitutions," accessed February 2, 2017
  58. 58.0 58.1 New York Unified Court System, "The Third Constitution of New York, 1846," accessed February 2, 2017
  59. 59.0 59.1 New York Unified Court System, "The Fourth Constitution of New York, 1894," accessed February 2, 2017
  60. Note: This text reflects the changes to gender-neutral language made in 2001 via Proposal 1.
  61. Yale Law School: The Avalon Project, "The Constitution of New York : April 20, 1777 ," accessed February 2, 2017
  62. History, "New York adopts state constitution," accessed February 2, 2017
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 63.3 Nunez, Richard I. "New York State Constitutional Reform - Past Political Battles in Constitutional Language." "William & Mary Law Review," 10, 2. (1968): 366-377.
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.3 Bailly, R.M. & Fein, S.N. (2016). Making a Modern Constitution: The Prospects for Constitutional Reform in New York. Albany, NY: New York State Bar Association. (pages 79-84)
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 Galie, Peter J. (1996). "Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York." New York, NY: Fordham University Press. (pages 117-118, 258, 324-325)
  66. New York Times, "The 1997 Elections: Ballot Question; Voters Reject Constitutional Convention," November 5, 1997
  67. Gov. Cuomo has not proposed this amendment be addressed in a constitutional convention. Organizations such as NYSBA and NY People's Convention suggested the issue be addressed in a convention. Gov. Cuomo is listed as the person who suggested the proposal because he proposed the amendment itself.
  68. New York Governor, "Amendment Would Enshrine that State Shall Protect the Rights Established by Roe v. Wade Regardless of What Happens at the Federal Level," January 30, 2017
  69. 69.0 69.1 The Journal News, "Cuomo: Put abortion rights in NY constitution," January 30, 2017
  70. Forward March New York, "Gender Inequality + Reproductive Rights," May 18, 2017
  71. Forward March New York, "An Open Letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo," August 28, 2017
  72. Newsday, "Suit wants constitutional convention to be on front of ballot," August 11, 2017
  73. New York Law Journal, "Const. Convention Backer Sues NY Elections Board," August 11, 2017
  74. 74.0 74.1 New York Law Journal, "Constitutional Convention Suit Against Election Board Dismissed," August 24, 2017
  75. The raw data for this study was provided by Dave Leip of Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.