Your State May Not Count Your "Uncommitted" Vote

Different states have different ways voters can lodge protest votes, if they choose to. We’ve compiled a list of state primary rules below.

In These Times Editors

A sign in the foreground says "UNCOMMITTED" in red with Arabic text above, and a small image of a ballot with "uncommitted" checked and Biden unchecked. In the background is a woman in a hijab.
A volunteer with the Listen to Michigan Campaign holds a sign near a voting site to encourage voters to vote "uncommitted'" in Dearborn on February 27. Photo by Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu via Getty Images

Updated March 18

Almost 1 in 5 Democratic primary voters in Minnesota cast presidential ballots for uncommitted” on March 5, ensuring at least 11 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Also on Super Tuesday, about 12% of North Carolina voters opted for no preference.” Preliminary returns from Washington state’s March 12 vote-by-mail primary show almost 10% uncommitted.”

The uncommitted” push began with the Listen to Michigan campaign, which urged voters to fill in the uncommitted bubble to strongly reject Biden’s funding war and genocide in Gaza.” Launched just a few weeks before the state’s February 27 primary, it drew support from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), former Michigan Rep. Andy Levin and the state chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America and Our Revolution. Over 100,000 Michigan Democratic voters — around 13% of the primary electorate — voted uncommitted.”

After Super Tuesday, 17 remaining states and territories — listed below — have an uncommitted” or equivalent option on their Democratic presidential ballot. 

Primaries to watch include Wisconsin (April 2) and Connecticut (also April 2), where uncommitted” campaigns are gaining momentum.

Not every state has the option of voting uncommitted.” But there are other ways voters can lodge protest votes if they choose to. In New York, a Leave It Blank NY” campaign is underway. Below is a full list of the post – Super Tuesday nominating contests, the different ways protest votes can be cast in each state or territory and information about state-level uncommitted” campaigns. 

States with an Uncommitted” Option

These upcoming nominating contests include an uncommitted” option on the Democratic presidential ballot.

  • March 5-12: Northern Mariana Islands

  • March 6: Hawaii

  • March 12: Washington*, Democrats Abroad

*Washington state: The Vote Uncommitted WA campaign askedvoters to select Uncommitted Delegates” to strongly reject the Biden Administration’s funding of war and genocide in Gaza” and demand a dramatic change in policy.” The Seattle chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (whose national body has endorsed uncommitted” in all remaining primaries), phonebanked for the coalition, and the largest labor union in the state, the 50,000-member UFCW Local 3000, endorsed an uncommitted” vote.

  • March 19: Kansas*

*Kansas: The Lawrence chapter of Democratic Socialists of America is phonebanking with Kansas City-based Palestinian-rights group Al-Hadaf KC. They are asking Democratic presidential primary voters to mark None of the Names Shown.”

  • March 23: Missouri*

*Missouri: The Uncommited Vote Movement is urging voters to Say No in MO to Genocide” by casting an uncommitted” vote.

  • April 2: Connecticut*, Rhode Island, Wisconsin** (called Uninstructed Delegate”)

*Connecticut: The Connecticut Palestine Solidarity Coalition, which includes the state chapters of Democratic Socialists of America and Jewish Voice for Peace Action, is asking Connecticut voters to pledge to vote uncommitted” in order to demonstrate your unequivocal solidarity with Palestine” and is soliciting volunteers to phonebank and canvass.

**Wisconsin: The Listen to Wisconsin campaign, modeled on Listen to Michigan, urges Wisconsin voters to “[send] Biden a clear message in the April 2nd presidential primary that he can count us out” by filling out the uninstructed” bubble in protest of Biden’s funding of the war and genocide in Gaza.”

  • April 6: Alaska

  • April 13: Wyoming

  • May 14: Maryland

  • May 21: Kentucky

  • May 23: Idaho

  • June 4: Montana (called No Preference”), New Jersey, New Mexico

  • June 8: Virgin Islands

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States that Allow Any Write-in Vote

These upcoming Democratic nominating contests do not have an uncommitted” option but do allow a write-in for any candidate. In the initial returns, just the total percentage of write-ins will be reported. That total may be seen as a stand-in for the uncommitted” vote. Later, the write-in candidates allowed under state law — typically limited to real, living people — will be individually tallied and posted.

  • May 21: Oregon

  • June 4: Washington, D.C.

States That Only Allow Preselected Candidates

Some states and territories allow Democratic voters to choose only from among the presidential candidates named on the ballot. (Or, if write-ins are allowed, they are restricted to registered candidates). In these post – Super Tuesday contests, voters must choose between the existing options or mailing back a blank ballot. 

These states vary in how and whether they report blank ballots. In New York, for example, blank ballots are reported with the returns. In Georgia, they are hidden in the county-level results as undervotes.” In other states, they are not publicly reported at all, but the party itself does see them.

As a result, state-level protest campaigns vary in what approach they recommend.

  • March 12: Georgia*, Mississippi

Inspired by Michigan, the Listen to Georgia Coalition mobilized more than 500 volunteers in less than two weeks to flyer, text, email and phonebank. Organized by state Rep. Ruwa Romman (D-Duluth) — Georgia’s first Palestinian American legislator — it drew backing from New Disabled South Rising, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, the Movement for Black Lives Action Fund and CAIR Action. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found in a preliminary tally that at least 6,446 Democratic presidential ballots, around 2%, came in blank.

  • March 19: Arizona*, Illinois**, Ohio***

*Arizona: Blank ballot undervotes” are not typically reported in Arizona, so the #VoteCeasefireAZ campaign is urging protest voters to cast a ballot for Marianne Williamson to strongly reject Biden’s funding of war and genocide in Gaza.” The campaign does not endorse Williamson but sees her ballot line as a way to consolidate protest votes. It aims for 10,000 votes — roughly Biden’s margin of victory in the state in 2020.

**Illinois has no single organized protest campaign, but there are informal calls to either write in Gaza” or leave the presidential line blank. Illinois does not publicly report blank votes, but they are visible to the party.

***No formal statewide coalition has emerged in Ohio, but a number of local groups are calling for Democratic primary voters to leave the presidential preference portion of the ballot blank.

  • March 23: Louisiana

  • March 30: North Dakota

  • April 2: New York*

*In New York, blank ballots are reported. Leave It Blank NY is doing outreach calls and soliciting pledges for Democratic primary voters to send President Biden a clear message that New Yorkers want a lasting cease-fire” by leaving the presidential ballot blank. The coalition includes Jewish Voice for Peace Action, several DSA chapters and New York Muslim Action Network.

  • April 23: Pennsylvania

  • April 28: Puerto Rico

  • May 14: Nebraska, West Virginia

  • June 4: South Dakota

  • June 8: Guam

No Primary

The Democratic parties of Florida and Delaware canceled their 2024 presidential primaries and assigned all delegates to Biden pursuant to state law.

Special thanks to Josh Cohen of the Ettingermentum newsletter and Renée Paradis, legal counsel to Listen to Michigan, for providing research assistance. Riley Roliff, Anna Busalacchi and Andrew Ancheta contributed fact-checking, and Riley Roliff contributed additional research. For more information on state-by-state rules, see Ettingermentum.

This guide will be updated with new information about uncommitted” campaigns. If you would like to alert us to a campaign that is not currently listed, please email letters@​inthesetimes.​com with the subject line Uncommitted campaign.”

As a reader-supported 501©3 nonprofit, In These Times does not oppose or endorse candidates for political office.

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