ALBANY — If you thought last Tuesday's country-dividing elections would bring about the actual division of Upstate and Downstate New York, you were wrong.

When all the ballots were counted, Democrats, who largely oppose a split, won majorities in the state Assembly and Senate, and won the governor's seat, throwing a wrench into the plans of those who favor two or more autonomous regions within the state's current borders.

Backlash against their election has again raised the question of dividing New York State on social media.

The election represented a second blow to the cause of dividing the state, after voters rejected a ballot initiative asking them to weigh in on a constitutional convention in 2017, which was seen by many as the best opportunity for legally severing joint rule over upstate and downstate.

Divide NYS Caucus Inc., a capital region-based advocacy group, is pushing a three autonomous region solution (New Amsterdam, Empire Region and Montauk) that would effectively dissolve state government.

"Forming autonomous regions would benefit both upstate, downstate and the suburbs," said Divide NYS Caucus Inc Chair John Bergener Jr.

According to Bergener Jr., after some research, turning upstate into a separate state would garner too much federal push-back, leading them to advocate for three autonomous regions instead.

"Congress would block it because western states believe that the east coast has too many Senators already," he said.

Instead, the organization is aiming for the next best thing, turning to an old tactic, to try and force the hand of legislators by utilizing an obscure clause of the state constitution — Article 9's "Home Rule" clause.

"While NYS has no right of referendum for its people; there is the home rule clause, for municipalities, in the state constitution. NYS Senators and Assembly(wo)men are obliged to introduce a bill if a municipality in their district passes a home rule resolution; and then sends a copy of the resolution AND the Amendment (bill) to their NY State legislators. If local officials skip the last part, its nonbinding," a solicitation from the group sent out this week described.

According to Bergener Jr., many municipalities have passed resolutions in the past, but often forget the critical step of forwarding it to their legislators. 

However, it's unclear whether legislators would bring such a measure to the floor. The idea has not found a lot of support in the capital, and would represent an exercise in futility, as most Republicans disregard the idea as well. But, Divide NYS is hoping that their action grows grassroots support for the cause anyways.

"We haven't had too many receptive years, but maybe that will change now because of the decline in the upstate economy. For each of the past five years, downstate has had to send money upstate. Prior to that, upstate sent money downstate," Bergener Jr. said.

If no legislators will take up a home rule amendment, Divide NYS may consider lawsuits regarding "lacking representation," Bergener Jr. previewed, citing things like poor road maintenance as a result of the state's vast geography and financial responsibilities.

In the meantime, both municipal and county governments are being solicited to consider a draft resolution, which can be found on the organization's website www.newamsterdamny.org.