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FIOS1: "Will voters choose to change the NY constitution on Election Day?"

10/20/2017 News Release Image

Will voters choose to change the NY constitution on Election Day? (FIOS1)

Every election is important, but on Nov. 7, voters in New York will have the chance to open up the state's constitution and change it.

The constitutional convention is on the ballot once every twenty years, and hasn't been rewritten since 1938. 

"Most academics that look at this say we need a constitutional convention," said Dean David Yassky of the Pace School of Law. "They say it because there is a feeling that the state government is broken. Corruption scandal after corruption scandal, and inability to address fundamental issues that New Yorkers care about the most, and the only way we are going to get a government that is more responsible to New Yorkers is by changing the way it is set up."

Yassky says that state-wide proposals will be listed on the back of the ballot, including the use of forest preserve land for specified purposes and the complete or partial forfeiture of a public official's pension.

"Today, if a state legislator or an elected official convicted of taking bribes or stealing from the government, they are still going to collect their pension. I think most New Yorkers would say that's just wrong. A convention can fix that, but the regular process can't."

If voters say "No" in November, there will be no convention and the constitution will remain in place. Voters rejected a convention the last two times it appeared on the ballot.

Read the article.