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Constitutional Convention Polling: Inside the Numbers

In our last update, we reported that according to the July 2017 Siena College poll, registered voters indicated that their support for holding a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) has dropped from 62 percent in May to 47 percent in July.  While this trend is indeed encouraging, there remains a number of “undecided” voters, or those who don’t vote on the question at all, who will certainly affect the outcome.

Here is the breakdown (by percent) on the question of convening a convention:

Support            Oppose            Undecided/No Opinion

May 2017          62                     22                              16

July 2017          47                     34                               19

While there has been an uptick in discussion about the ConCon question being on the November 7 ballot, we can certainly expect to see an increase in activity as we enter the fall.  Our opposition to a ConCon is trending the right way.

Looking further inside the Siena July poll numbers, a strong majority of Democrats and a plurality of independent voters support having a ConCon, while a plurality of Republicans oppose it.  A plurality of voters from every region in the state support it.

Everyone should be aware that since we have moved to ballots which are scanned, amendments to the constitution appear on the BACK of the ballot.  Voters will have to make a conscious effort to remember to turn the ballot over in order to vote.  In addition to the ConCon question, there will be two proposed amendments to the constitution: the pension forfeiture provision regarding public officers convicted of a felony related to their duties; and authorizing land banks in the state forest preserve to facilitate public works projects in existing rights of way.

The last time the ConCon question was on the ballot (1997), it was overwhelmingly rejected, with 62% voting against it. Although 4.2 million votes were cast in that election, 1.7 million voters (40%) did not vote on the ConCon question. It should also be noted that the last time the ballot question was approved (1965), the vote was 1,681,483 in favor, and 1,468,341 opposed.  An additional 2.9 million people (48%) voted in that election but skipped the ballot question.

Finally, a reminder for our out of state members.  You have relatives and friends who are still in New York and will be able to vote in the November election.  Be sure to touch base to remind them of the important issues and benefits which are at stake.

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