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WCNY Round Table Discussion

The upcoming vote on a convention

By Luke Lawn

As fall commences in upstate New York, voters are starting to look forward to the upcoming general election in November. While there are no seats up for re-election, the election is not one to be overlooked! This general election is particularly exciting because it will include a ballot that New York natives see only once every 20 years.

New York is one of 14 states in the United States that allows voters the opportunity to rewrite their governmental blueprint in an open convention. In order for this convention to be held, there is a vote held every 20 years. This vote will occur on Nov. 7, 2017 during the course of the general election.

WCNY will be hosting a Town Hall meeting at their headquarters on the Near Westside in Syracuse, NY to educate New Yorkers about the state constitutional convention. Many Syracuse University students will be in attendance to participate in the live, televised event. New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is working with WCNY to run this event. These organizations have offered the opportunity for Syracuse students to participate as audience members in this historic, televised event.

There has been lots of public debate about which side voters should take when filling out their ballots. The last time the constitutional convention was held was in 1967. If there is a statewide vote for “Yes” a convention would be scheduled for 2019. The convention would consist entirely of elected officials from state senate districts. These individuals would be elected next year and anyone legally living as a New York resident can run as a delegate.

The televised forum airs Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. on WCNY-TV. For viewing information, visit wcny.org/wheretowatch.

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