DC’s ceasefire vote campaign is asking voters to help tally their own votes via social media

maicasaa/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

Why WriteInDC is turning to Instagram to count ‘Gaza’ protest votes against Biden

Individual write-in votes won’t be tabulated in D.C.


Tricia Crimmins


WriteInDC, Washington, D.C.’s pro-Palestine protest campaign, is ramping up its get-out-to-vote efforts ahead of the District’s Democratic primary election tomorrow.

As write-in votes are notoriously hard to tally, WriteInDC is asking voters to post a photo of their ballot on Instagram and tag the campaign’s account.

Posting photos of ballots is legal in D.C.

The campaign was inspired by the Uncommitted National Movement, which organized state-specific efforts to vote “uncommitted” or “uninstructed” to protest President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign over his continued support for Israel and its war with Gaza.

As D.C. ballots don’t offer voting options like “uncommitted,” WriteInDC is encouraging voters to write in “Gaza” on their Democratic primary ballots.

“We believe ‘Gaza’ is appropriate because it calls direct attention to the ongoing genocide,” the campaign said, “and does not allow co-opting by centrist politicians who can twist words like ‘ceasefire’ to mask their sub-par solutions.”

After Vote Ceasefire in New Hampshire and Listen to Michigan garnered national attention, Vice President Kamala Harris called for a temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.


In states with “uncommitted” or “uninstructed” ballot options, tallying votes is easy. But in states with write-in options, the entire write-in vote is tallied all together by state board of elections—meaning that a vote for “Harambe” would fall into the same category as D.C.’s write-in “Gaza” vote.

Protest write-in campaigns have gotten around the obstacle in a few different ways. The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office created an individual tally for Vote Ceasefire votes in January. And Uncommitted PA, Pennsylvania’s write-in protest vote campaign that asked voters to put “uncommitted” on their ballots, attempted to tally their votes themselves.

WriteInDC is harnessing the power of Instagram by asking voters to post a photo of their ballot and tag the campaign.

“As you (hopefully) know, we’ll get a tally of write-in votes, but not what’s written,” the campaign wrote in an Instagram post. “Which is why we’re asking you to take a pic of your beautiful ballot & tag us (totally legal in DC)!!”

write in dc

Though the national uncommitted vote has already picked up 35 delegates ahead of the Democratic National Convention, write-in votes are not able to pick up delegates in the same way ballot options like uncommitted can. Nor will they unseat Biden’s party nomination.

But WriteInDC is focused on sending a message, not amassing delegates.

“We believe in using every protest method available to us. Including the protest vote,” the campaign said. “We can send a message straight from the belly of the beast, that the people of DC refuse to be complicit in genocide.”

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot