Palestinian flags over DNC graphic

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Gaza protest vote now has 35 delegates headed to the Democratic National Convention

The effort picked up right delegates in Kentucky last night.


Tricia Crimmins


The Gaza protest vote picked up eight delegates in Kentucky’s Democratic primary, bringing the total uncommitted delegate count to 35.

This growing number of uncommitted delegates that will represent the protest vote at the August Democratic National Convention in Chicago increases the chances for public dissent against the nomination of President Joe Biden.

What is the Gaza protest vote?

The Gaza protest vote began with New Hampshire’s January Democratic primary when a group of progressives campaigned for voters to write in “ceasefire” on their primary ballots, rather than vote for Biden. The movement hoped to voice opposition to his support for Israel.

The New Hampshire Vote Ceasefire campaign received almost 1,500 votes—helped by a ballot quirk— but also started a movement.

Activists in other states across the country followed suit. At the end of February, Listen to Michigan urged voters to choose the uncommitted option on their primary ballots and received over 100,000 votes. On Super Tuesday in March, Uncommitted MN out of Minnesota racked up 45,000 votes. And similar campaigns have popped up all across the country in New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Vermont, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, and other states.

“It’s been incredible to see the spread of an idea we organized quickly on a shoestring budget,” New Hampshire Vote Ceasefire organizer Rachel Rybaczuk told the Daily Dot in March. “We would not have guessed our efforts would generate email inquiries from voters all over the country.”

What do uncommitted delegates do at the National Convention?

Biden needed 1,976 delegates to secure the Democratic presidential nomination and he’s already received 3,619—so even if the protest vote campaign receives more delegates in the remaining state presidential primaries, the movement won’t be able to unseat Biden from the nomination.

But, like the delegates won by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, the uncommitted delegates could stage some sort of protest from inside the convention. In 2016, hundreds of Sanders delegates walked out of the Democratic National Convention to protest Hillary Clinton receiving the 2016 Democratic nomination.

Though the uncommitted protest vote may not reach even a hundred delegates, the Uncommitted National Movement is preparing to bring the “Ceasefire, Anti-War, Pro-Peace narrative” to the Democratic National Convention.

And the uncommitted’s actions at the Democratic National Convention won’t be the only protest in Chicago during the convention weekend: local Chicago activists say they’ll be disrupting the festivities even if they don’t have a permit to do so.

This post has been updated.

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