ALBANY — The state, under pressure from a reform group, will advise local elections officials to alert voters about a referendum question on Nov. 7 ballots that will decide whether to hold a constitutional convention that could radically change how Albany operates.
The state Board of Elections will advise and recommend to county boards of elections that there should be text or another sign, such as an arrow, to direct voters to cast a vote on the question that will be on the back side of the ballot.
“I think we should be doing whatever we can to make sure the voters do see the full ballot, absolutely,” said Peter S. Kosinski, co-chairman of the state Board of Elections.
“We are recommending this to the counties,” said board co-chairman Douglas A. Kellner.
The Committee for a Constitutional Convention had sued and lost to move the ballot question to the front of the ballot so it would less likely be overlooked by voters.
The call for a constitutional convention that could require term limits, limit or expand government and programs, or revise policies and legislation, including abortion and gun control laws, must appear on the ballot every 20 years, according to the constitution.
“The board’s decision is an important victory for New York voters,” said Evan Davis of the committee and a former counsel to former Gov. Mario Cuomo. “While the convention question won’t be on the front of the ballot where it should be, voters will at least be urged to turn the ballot over to vote on whether to hold a constitutional convention.”