A volunteer with the Listen to Michigan campaign holds a sign reading, "Uncommitted"

A volunteer with the Listen to Michigan campaign holds a sign near a voting site to encourage voters to vote 'uncommitted' in the Michigan primary elections in Dearborn, Michigan on February 27, 2024.

(Photo: Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Organizers Expand 'Uncommitted' Primary Campaigns to Push Biden on Gaza

"This issue of Gaza is not just a Michigan issue, it is an issue across the United States," said one organizer.

With more than 100,000 Michigan voters having cast primary ballots letting U.S. President Joe Biden know they are "uncommitted" to supporting him in the general election due to his continued support for Israel's genocidal violence in Gaza, organizers of the effort said Wednesday that the Listen to Michigan campaign is spreading to other states.

Voters in Colorado, Minnesota, and North Carolina are among the Americans whose primary votes will be tallied next week on Super Tuesday, and all three states have "uncommitted" or similar language as an option on their ballots.

The Listen to Michigan campaign started organizing less than a month in advance, gathering support from leaders including Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and former congressman Andy Levin in hopes that it could convince at least 10,000 voters to mark "uncommitted" on their primary ballots to warn Biden that he must end military funding for Israel and push the country to agree to a permanent cease-fire.

With more than three-quarters of Democrats in the U.S. backing a cease-fire, the campaign drew more than 10 times the amount of support it expected, with more than 13% of Michigan Democrats who took part in Tuesday's primary voting "uncommitted."

"We are going to be talking to other states that are looking for a unifying vehicle to send the same message to Joe Biden," Layla Elabed, campaign manager for Listen to Michigan, told reporters on Wednesday. "This issue of Gaza is not just a Michigan issue, it is an issue across the United States. So our plan is to work with other coalitions like Listen to Michigan."

According to Hammoud, organizers in other states with upcoming primaries have reached out to Listen to Michigan "to follow their strategy."

As Common Dreamsreported last week, campaigners in Washington state are urging voters to write "cease-fire" on their primary ballots ahead of the March 12 election.

In Colorado, concerns about Biden's support for Israel, which has now killed more than 30,000 people in Gaza and decimated civilian infrastructure across the enclave even as it claims to be targeting Hamas fighters, helped push the state Democratic Party's executive committee to vote unanimously in December in favor of including a "noncommitted" line on primary ballots.

Abed Ayoub, national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said Thursday that Armenian-American campaigners in key states including Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania are leading efforts to push people to vote "uncommitted."

More than 206,000 Armenian-Americans in swing states "are perfectly positioned to play a high-impact role," said the Armenian National Committee of America.

"Over 100,000 sent Biden a clear message in Michigan," said Yonah Lieberman, co-founder of the Jewish-led Palestinian rights group IfNotNow. "Now the fight moves on."

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