What you need to know about the Constitutional Convention

Local News

In just two weeks, voters across the state will have a choice to make in this year’s general election. This year, there’s also a choice showing up on everyone’s ballot this year that doesn’t involve a candidate.

That’s the Constitutional Convention. So, what is it?

News 8 asked political expert Kathleen Donovan, an Asst. Professor of Political Science at St. John Fisher College:

“Typically, every 20 years we get this ballot proposition that the voters have to decide on and say, yes we’d like to revisit and redraft the constitution, or no we’d like to keep it as is,” said Donovan.

The most common arguments against the convention, are the influence of special interests and the need to protect labor unions. 

Those in favor, Donovan said, want to see change, such as re-districting the legislature, and term limits for elected officials.

Though a ‘yes’ vote in November, doesn’t mean change will take place right away…or at all.

“Just by voting to have the Consitutional Convention doesn’t actually guarantee that the Consitution will be changed. Those changes are sent out to the voters again who will vote on it in 2019,” said Donovan.

Any proposed changes will also be voted on as a whole, which is one reason, why Donovan said she’s pessimistic the vote will pass. 

If the convention vote passes, three delegates will need to be elected for each State Senate district, along with 15 statewide delegates. 

The last vote for the convention in 1997 was shot down. You’ll be able to vote for or against the convention on the back of your ballot this upcoming Election Day, November 7th.

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