LWV Utica Rome is currently engaged in a number of projects and studies. These include the following issues.
Impact on Issues is now updated at the end of every legislative session, however, the summary of our positions are only updated after a biennial convention.
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Albany, New York (March 27, 2017) - The League of Women Voters of New York State announced today its support for calling a New York State Constitutional Convention. On November 7, 2017, New Yorkers will have an opportunity, which occurs only once every 20 years, to call for a Constitutional Convention to be convened in 2019 to consider changes to the New York State Constitution. Any proposed changes recommended by the Convention would be subject to voter approval. Full Press Release
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On November 7, 2017, voters will go into voting booths throughout New York State and, as they are every 20 years, be asked to decide the constitutionally mandated question, "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?"
Some background... The New York State Constitution mandates that every 20 years voters be presented with this ballot question. A constitutional convention allows delegates, elected by the people, to gather and examine our state's Constitution. The delegates can strike current text and propose changes and new provisions to the document. Changes to language can be made for greater clarity and understanding, or to streamline what is already in place. New provisions would serve to address issues that the current constitution does not address. Our Constitution is over two centuries old; changes can help to address the modern issues we face in the 21st century. All convention proposals must be put before the people who ultimately decide whether or not they will support or oppose the recommended changes.
Since 1777 New York State has held nine Constitutional Conventions, four of which resulted in the adoption of new constitutions. We are now governed by the 1894 Constitution, which has been amended over 225 times. Each new constitutional amendment has added additional bulk to the already verbose state Constitution, seven times longer than the US Constitution and one of the longest state constitutions in the nation.
Video - Should we have a Constitutional Convention? League of Women Voters of White Planes forum on holding a Constitutional Convention. This forum was presented by Sally Robinson, LWVNYS Vice President of Issues and Advocacy.
New York State has also released the website portal and the help-line for New York's new Paid Family Leave program. Check out the website: http://www.ny.gov/paidfamilyleave. The Governor's Helpline is 844-337-6303.
Ready-made materials for presentation at an educational community forum on opportunities to increase voter participation in NYS. Voter registration modernization, early voting systems and improved ballot design, poll worker training and voter education are all discussed in the materials. See what other states have done in these areas and how they could be implemented in NYS. Finally, recommendations for short term and long term actions are offered.
Power Point Presentation
Power Point Presentation - The War on Voting in the Modern Era (2/16/2012)
Presentation by Tim O'Brien, LWVUS Project Manager for the Public Advocacy for Voter Protection.
Why Money in Politics Matters to the League of Women Voters
Money in politics matters because the goal of campaigning is to convince voters, either for or against a candidate or issue. Thus, campaigning is ultimately about communication. In our modern age, this includes speech and money. It is very important that one continually keeps combining campaign, communication, free speech, and money in their thinking.
Purpose of a Campaign Finance System
A campaign finance system is intended to control and limit the money spent on election campaigns. Why do that?
1) to protect the right of voters to know who is spending money to influence their vote.
2) to prevent corruption. The only corruption that the current U.S. Supreme Court acknowledges is quid pro quo which refers to an explicit agreement by a candidate or elected official to perform a specific act in exchange for something of value.
3) reformers want to control money out of a belief that unlimited spending gives an unfair advantage to candidates and spenders.
4) there is a concern that the rise in spending corrupts representative government by downplaying the role of the voters and allowing for unfair competition.
Any education and discussion of these issues must attempt to be comprehensive, which means complex. The task of the Money in Politics Committee is to make the issues understandable to the members of LWV and all citizens.
The LWVUS study is not about any particular amendment; rather it is about establishing guidelines for evaluating amendments. The study asks us to first decide what constitutes an appropriate and well-crafted amendment. The second part of the study considers the possibility of convening a Constitutional Convention to consider the passage of a proposed amendment.
This process has never been successfully used and so it is rife with questions such as how it would work, who would be the delegates, how they would be chosen and what the convention could consider once convened.
The court's decision affirms the constitutionality of an Arizona state ballot measure approved by voters in 2000, which allowed an independent commissioner to determine congressional districts in the state.
State legislatures determine congressional district boundaries after each census, as dictated by the constitution, but the Arizona measure sought to undo this model, which is widely understood as a tool for partisan lawmakers to divvy up districts to favor the political party in power + also known as gerrymandering.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the elections clause of the US constitution does not disallow such commissions from being created.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the majority opinion that the clause "doubly empowers the people" for redistricting purposes.
The Supreme Court's oral arguments for the case focused on what precisely a "legislature" is and its decision could have changed the look of the state house. California has a similar commission; this ruling effectively affirms its validity too.
The Supreme Court's ruling could help limit the practice of gerrymandering.
Multiple measures of the Women's Equality Act, first proposed in 2013 by Governor Andres Cuomo, were passed and will facilitate much needed updates to New York law. The bills, now awaiting Governor Cuomo's signature, include provisions that will:
However, much remains to be done to address existing inequalities that continue to sharply define and limit women in our state. The WEC looks forward to working with lawmakers in 2016 to address areas which remain in need of action by the New York State Senate, including reforming New York State's antiquated abortion law and legislation to provide family leave insurance because no one should have to choose between their job and their family. NY Women's Equality Coalition
An electronic voters guide with information provided by candidates
Absentee ballot information
Ballot proposition information (where applicable)
Military and Overseas Voting
Polling place locations
Voter registration forms
Currently, candidate information is available for candidates in the races in the primary for NYS Assembly and Senate seats.
Local candidate information can only be gathered by our local league and WE NEED YOUR HELP! Contact Voter_Services@lwvuticarome.org
The purpose of this site is to share League study documents among some 800 national, state and local Leagues and with the public.