When I went to my sister’s high school reunion early in October 2017, I was talking with one of her classmates about the November 7 Constitutional Convention vote. She had subsequently had a conversation with someone who asked her a question on the topic for which she didn’t have an answer.

This other person she was talking to thought that if YES or NO wasn’t checked, it automatically became a YES vote. This is untrue.

As the Rockefeller Institute noted back in August, there is a belief that:

…the proposal for a constitutional convention has been placed on the back of the ballot to purposely make it hard to find and ballots that are left blank on the question of convening a ConCon will automatically be counted as votes in favor of a constitutional convention. The implication is that the system is rigged to force a constitutional convention to be convened, even if that is not the will of the people. Based on the high number of calls and emails that the Rockefeller Institute has received in the last few weeks from concerned citizens, Facebook posts like this have been shared widely…

What is not in doubt… is how blank ballots are counted. Contrary to what has been circulated, failing to vote on this measure does not default to being considered a vote in favor of holding a ConCon. How to count blank votes is very clearly outlined in New York State Election Law § 9–112:

If the voter… makes a mark in a place or manner not herein provided for, or if for any reason it is impossible to determine the voter’s choice of… his or her vote upon a ballot proposal, his or her vote shall not be counted for… the ballot proposal, but shall be returned as a blank vote thereon.

If a voter leaves the question of convening a ConCon blank on their ballot, whether because they miss the proposal or by design, it will simply be counted as a blank vote. End of story. In other words, only those individuals who voted “yes” or “no” on whether to hold a ConCon are counted.

For the record, I’m a NO vote.

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