A group of progressive New Hampshire voters encouraged the state’s electorate to write in “ceasefire” in the state’s primary elections to protest President Joe Biden’s refusal to support an end to the war in Gaza.
But when a pro-Israel PAC got word of the grassroots effort, it reportedly contacted New Hampshire’s Secretary of State directly.
In a letter obtained by the Forward, the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) PAC chairman Mark Mellman urged New Hampshire’s Secretary of State David Scanlan “not to tally votes cast in the upcoming election for ‘ceasefire.'”
Mellman also made the argument that write-in votes that aren’t for a candidate are “inconsistent with New Hampshire law,” and said that the state “does not have a system for tallying votes for non-persons.”
Vote Ceasefire, the group of progressive voters behind the write-in “ceasefire” campaign, made their own claims about how ceasefire votes will be handled.
In an Instagram post, they reassured voters that their “ceasefire” ballots will not be thrown out.
HuffPost reported that a spokesperson for the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office said that “ceasefire” votes will be tallied.
“It’s an organized campaign, we will tally the results in a separate column,” the spokesperson told HuffPost.
The Vote Ceasefire campaign took off in recent days as a way to voice support for an end to the war in Gaza. Because of both Democratic National Convention and New Hampshire shenanigans, President Joe Biden’s name was left off the ballot, and no delegates were at stake, making it a risk-free opportunity to take a stand.
Though the DFMI may have felt threatened by the Vote Ceasefire campaign, it seems that the effort was more of a paper tiger: The Boston Globe reported that many New Hampshire voters said they had no idea about the write-in campaign.
Biden is projected to win the state as a write-in candidate, though it’s unclear how many write-in ballots have been completely counted or if an exact total for “ceasefire” votes will be revealed.