washington state ballot

Vote Uncommitted WA is urging Democrats in Washington state to bubble in "uncommitted delegates" on their ballots for the primary on March 12, 2024.

(Photo: Vote Uncommitted WA/Facebook)

'Uncommitted' in Washington Aim to Keep Pressure on Biden Over Gaza

"Without a change in tone and policy, Biden risks becoming a one-term president simply because he couldn't be responsive to the overwhelming demands of the American people," said one Democratic primary voter.

As voters in multiple U.S. states head to the polls on Tuesday, some Democrats in Washington plan to select "uncommitted" on their primary ballots, to intensify pressure on President Joe Biden to fight for a cease-fire in Israel's asault on the Gaza Strip.

Building on similar efforts in states including Michigan and Minnesota, the Vote Uncommitted WA campaign explains on its website that "we are filling out the uncommitted delegates bubble because we strongly reject the Biden administration's funding of war and genocide in Gaza. Biden must earn our vote through a dramatic change in policy."

"President Biden has been a successful candidate in the past by representing a broad coalition, but right now, he's not representing the vast majority of Democrats who want a cease-fire and an end to his funding of Israel's war in Gaza," the campaign says. "He is not representing many of us, including young people and voters of color who turned out in record numbers to put him in office—but who are now out protesting his policies in the streets."

Before the October 7 Hamas-led attack that led to Israel's brutal retaliation, the United States gave the nation $3.8 billion in annual military aid. As Israeli forces have bombed and starved Palestinians in Gaza over the past five months, killing at least 31,184 and wounding another 72,889, Biden has bypassed Congress to send more weapons and sought a $14 billion package.

Israel now faces a South Africa-led genocide case at the International Court of Justice, and Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken—and Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin must contend with a complicity case moving through the U.S. federal court system.

Monday reporting from Politicosuggests that "Biden will consider conditioning military aid to Israel if the country moves forward with a large-scale invasion of Rafah," the southern Gaza city to which 1.2 million displaced Palestinians have fled—a signal that the president is feeling the pressure some from congressional Democrats and voters.

In a Monday opinion piece for The Stranger—which also supports Washington's uncommitted campaign—Nilu Jenks, an Iranian-American former Seattle City Council candidate, wrote that while she "certainly" won't be backing former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, "I see a Democratic electorate furious with President Biden, specifically because of his response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza."

Jenks continued:

Like so many, I was horrified by the White House's 100-day statement, which didn't even mention Palestinians, the three U.N. vetoes against cease-fire resolutions, and Biden going around Congress twice to send arms and funds to Israel. No nod toward the vast majority of Democrats who want a cease-fire? February polling from Data for Progress showed that 77% of Democratic voters support a cease-fire, and 67% of all voters do. Is this how democracy is meant to work? Am I to quietly support these actions and call that hope, simply because I am afraid of Trump?


We have marched, we have called our representatives, we have confronted them in public, and we have made our views loudly known. Now is not the time to lie down in fear. Organizers, rooted in a politics of hope, have highlighted a path in Washington state that makes our views even more loudly known: We can vote for "uncommitted delegates" in the Democratic Party primary.

"Without a change in tone and policy, Biden risks becoming a one-term president simply because he couldn't be responsive to the overwhelming demands of the American people," she stressed. "The uncommitted delegates movement is giving Biden an opportunity to hear directly from voters so that he knows the work he must do to earn their votes across the nation."

Other supporters of Vote Uncommitted WA include local chapters of the American Federation of Teachers, Democratic Socialists of America, IfNotNow, and the United Food and Commercial Workers as well as national groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, and Our Revolution.

Our Revolution chair Larry Cohen toldThe New York Times that the campaign is hoping for at least 10% of the Democratic vote in the Washington primary. Citing Stuart Holmes, director of elections for the secretary of state, the newspaper noted that full results are expected by the end of the week.

Politicoreported Tuesday that while Washingtonians may deliver "eye-popping" results, the primary "could be the last strong chance for voters to signal their opposition to Biden's policies in the Middle East after a surge in 'uncommitted' votes last week led to its highest vote shares of the 2024 Democratic primary: 19% in Minnesota and 29% in Hawaii."

"Of the remaining presidential nominating contests after this week, only about 10 of them offer an 'uncommitted' or similar ballot line option—and none is in a state with either a sizable Muslim or Arab American population like Minnesota or Michigan or a large bloc of very liberal voters, like Washington state," the outlet detailed.

However, lacking an uncommitted option isn't stopping anti-war advocates in Georgia, which is also holding its Democratic and Republican primaries on Tuesday. The multifaith and multiracial Listen to Georgia Coalition is urging Democrats to "Leave It Blank," or not select a candidate for president on their ballots.

"President Biden won the state of Georgia in 2020 by only 11,779 votes with support from a diverse coalition of Georgians, including young voters and people of color," the group said in a statement Tuesday. "Georgia voters must now warn the president that he risks losing our state and the entire 2024 presidential election if he continues to enable the genocide in Gaza."

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