What is the write-in #VoteCeasefire campaign going viral on TikTok?

Instagram/Ceasefire

What is the ‘Vote Ceasefire’ write-in campaign taking off in New Hampshire—and could it work?

Can 'Ceasefire' edge out Biden?

 

Tricia Crimmins

Tech

Posted on Jan 18, 2024   Updated on Jan 22, 2024, 7:29 am CST

Some Democrats hesitant to vote for President Joe Biden in upcoming primary elections are instead pushing for people to write in “Ceasefire” on their ballots.

Biden’s refusal to call for a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war has put him at odds with some Democrats and alienated parts of his base, as he’s unilaterally sided with Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 terror attacks.

The Vote Ceasefire write-in push comes as the New Hampshire primary looms next week, presenting a unique opportunity for a write-in campaign to gain attention.

Biden’s name is currently not on the ballot, after a series of events played out in the wake of the 2020 primary. Biden finished poorly in New Hampshire and later successfully pushed to move South Carolina to first in the nation.

But New Hampshire took exception to the decision to relegate its primary, bucking the Democratic National Committee and hosting it on its normal date. As such, Biden was left off the ballot, and now, no delegates are at stake.

Biden is nonetheless asking his supporters to write his name on the ballot, while challenger Rep Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) hopes to use the bizarre scenario to springboard opposition to Biden.

But it also leaves an opportunity for lots of people to not feel obligated to vote for Biden and push for a different outcome. A group of “concerned Democratic voters” have joined together to ask primary voters to write in “Ceasefire,” enough that it could wind up showing up in the reported total. The Vote Ceasefire campaign seems to have originated over the weekend, spearheaded by Andru Volinsky, a New Hampshire progressive politician.

“After three months of actions, protests, phone calls, and emails from people across the country, it’s time for the Biden Administration to listen to the voices of their constituents, and to call for an immediate ceasefire,” @VoteCeasefire wrote in its inaugural Instagram post. “New Hampshire voters will send a powerful message by writing in Ceasefire for President on January 23rd.”

Other Vote Ceasefire Instagram posts include a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Day that references the write-in campaign and a reminder to New Hampshire voters that there is same-day voter registration in the state.

In a phone interview with the Daily Dot, Morgan Brown, an organizer for Vote Ceasefire, said that the campaign’s end goal is “to get as many voters to write in ceasefire as possible, because the Democratic Party is really concerned with votes.”

“As a young person, I know many other young people in the state of New Hampshire and probably across the nation feel like we don’t really have many good options,” Brown, 27, told the Daily Dot. “It feels wrong to vote for genocide.”

It’s not implausible that people could support the campaign. Over 61% of “likely voters” support a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, but that doesn’t mean that all of them will snub Biden or write “ceasefire” on their ballot. But some voters online say they’re intrigued by the idea and plan to execute it when they go to the polls.

Kathleen Cavalero, a New Hampshire Democrat, posted on TikTok that she plans to write in “ceasefire” on her ballot next week.

“If you are a New Hampshire Democrat who would rather vomit in your hand and eat it than go to the polls and write-in Joe Biden’s name, then this video is for you,” she said in a TikTok yesterday. “Let’s get this done.”

Commenters on her video provided a variety of responses, which ranged from “I’ll be voting ceasefire too” to “you idiots are going to be the reason Trump gets elected.”

Cavalero indicated that she wouldn’t vote ceasefire in the general election, but some vote ceasefire die-hards say they will.

@amorero_politik

Lead the way New Hampshire! You’re already pissed at B|den for making your votes meaningless! . #usa #america #election #primary #dnc

♬ original sound – Amorero

However, other peace-seeking candidates on the Democratic side aren’t pushing for it.

Author Marianne Williamson is running for the Democratic nomination again and she and her supporters have been encouraging Vote Ceasefire enthusiasts to vote for her in New Hampshire.

“Much more powerful message to vote for a CANDIDATE who stands for a ceasefire,” Williamson tweeted at the Vote Ceasefire X account on Wednesday.

A Williamson supporter doubled down and accused Vote Ceasefire of being the DNC in disguise.

“Nice try DNC,” they tweeted. “The real way to vote for a ceasefire is to vote for Marianne Williamson.”

Williamson and her fans aren’t necessarily wrong. Write-in candidates rarely win election and ceasefire votes wouldn’t go toward any candidate. But given the lack of actual consequences of the New Hampshire primary, it’s a risk-free opportunity to voice a message.

And it certainly will carry more weight than the people who voted for Harambe in 2016. But as for whether Vote Ceasefire would encourage voters to write-in “ceasefire” in a primary election under normal circumstances, Brown said she’d “like to think” that either way voters would take part in the write-in campaign.

In a general election, though? Not so much.

“When November comes around, I personally won’t be writing in ceasefire for president,” Brown said. “Because that’s not a candidate.”

This post has been updated.

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*First Published: Jan 18, 2024, 1:44 pm CST