Sun. May 26th, 2024

Image: News_Uncommitted_PA_1: Philadelphia participated in gatherings against the actions of genocide via Joe Piette on flickr.

A group in favor of a ceasefire initiative in Israel is campaigning for registered Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in the upcoming primary election this Tuesday, April 23. Their demands not only include a ceasefire but also the reinstatement of funding towards humanitarian aid and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an end to U.S. military aid to Israel and an end to the “siege of Gaza,” as stated on uncommittedpa.org.

To date, the death toll within Gaza alone sits just under 35,000 Palestinian people, over a third of that figure being children, and with nearly 77,000 injured, according to Al Jazeera’s live metrics. This death toll looms over the continuous breaking news of Israel and Iran, teetering on possibly escalating the conflict between the two nations and the region.

The group, which has been stated to be largely funded by the Democratic Socialist America (DSA), seeks to show President Biden that their support is tied to his administration’s handling of the Israeli-Gaza conflict. “Let’s show the Democratic Party and Biden that they’re actively losing their base,” their website states. According to the Pennsylvania Capital Star, Uncommitted PA’s target number of uncommitted ballots is 40,000, half of the amount of votes that President Biden won in PA in 2020 against former President Trump.

“I think uncommitted actually is the move,” said Anastasia Briggs, a third-year Psychology major. Briggs stated, “It’ll definitely send a message and not potentially split vote because there’s virtually no vote to split,” regarding Rep. Dean Phillips dropping out of the race. Phillips remains as an option on the Chester County ballot even though he is no longer running, leaving Biden as the only nominee still running in the primary.

Similar campaigns have been seen in other state’s primary elections. The “Listen to Michigan” sought to convince primary voters to write in “uncommitted” during the state’s election in February. The initiative achieved 13% of the vote, with more than 100,000 registered Democrats uncommitted according to the Capital Star. Similarly in Wisconsin’s primary on April 2, about 48,000 “uninstructed” votes were counted according to Politico election tracking statistics.

 

Listen to Michigan has said that voting uncommitted is not in any way meant to endorse former president Donald Trump, but rather to see if Biden really has the support of his base in the months before potential reelection, according to Aliya Schneider for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Schneider wrote that the uncommitted initiative in Michigan was a symbolic victory; however, it was “unlikely to prevent Biden from winning the Democratic nomination.”

Some PA Democrats are skeptical of the initiative in Pennsylvania, however. “It’s shortsighted, and it’s out of touch with the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” said Marjorie Manne, a resident of Pittsburgh in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It feels like we’re pushing a boulder uphill when we have far-left progressives undermining that effort.”

A first-year Political Science major at West Chester University who asked to remain anonymous said that, when voting, “you are trying to align with the party values and less with the person.” When asked by The Quad about their voting options for the PA primary, they said, “I don’t know too much about the Democratic primary options, but most likely I will have to choose based off of who checks the most boxes, because no one will check off all the boxes I’m looking for.”

 


Gaven Mitchell is a third-year history major and journalism minor. GM1001024@wcupa.edu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *