‘Vote Blank, Not Biden’: Far-Left Democrats Urge New York Primary Voters To Protest Israel-Hamas War

President Biden has already faced similar protest efforts in a slew of states, as division in the Democratic party over the war response ramps up.

President Biden on March 8, 2024, at Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and Prime Minister Netanyahu at Tel Aviv, October 28, 2023. AP

The presidential primary in New York on Tuesday will test the pulse of voters as leftwing Democrats urge them to leave their ballots blank in a protest vote against President Biden’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. 

The “Leave it Blank” movement in New York is encouraging voters to “vote blank, not Biden” to signal to his administration — and the party at large — that “Democratic voters care about Palestine.” 

The movement’s organizers say that voting blank won’t help President Trump because “this is a virtually uncontested primary election” and that “Biden has already clenched the Democratic nomination.” 

The campaign aims to show Democrats “how much is at stake” before the November general election.

“A majority of voters across party lines want a ceasefire and instead the Biden administration has continued to veto international efforts to push for one and send weapons the Israeli military is using to kill Palestinian civilians in record numbers,” the movement’s website states. “Although New York is not a swing state, it is perceived as a stronghold for the Democratic party centrist establishment and was noted nationwide as a key reason Democrats lost the house in 2022.” 

The effort is backed by the far-left Working Families Party, which has been amplifying it across social media platforms. 

“Send a message to President Biden and the Democrats that we want an end to the war in Gaza and we want the hostages to come home,” the co-director of the New York Working Families Party, Jasmine Gripper,  said in a video posted to X. “In order to make our voices heard and join with others like the uncommitted votes in other states we in New York are going to leave our ballot blank. 

Since the October 7 massacre of 1,200 Israelis, New York has become a hotbed of anti-Israel protests. A glitzy New York City campaign fundraiser last week drew a mob of protesters, as Mr. Biden was disrupted by attendees who shouted “shame on your Joe Biden” and that he was “funding genocide” and had blood on his hands.

Because New York’s ballot doesn’t have an “uncommitted option” like other states, and writing on the ballot makes it invalid, the organizers say leaving the ballot blank is “the only way” to be heard. 

Memos sent out by the Working Families Party urge voters to head to their polling site and then “take your blank ballot directly to the scanner.” 

The total number of blank ballots cast is not expected to be released on Tuesday night, as the state’s Board of Elections typically doesn’t report the number for a couple of weeks. 

As Mr. Biden faces pressure from leftwing protesters across the country to take a tougher stance on Israel, he also must weigh the concerns of Jewish voters in the party. Pew Research polling indicates that 70 percent of Jewish adults identify as or lean Democratic, and states that Jews “are among the most consistently liberal and Democratic groups in the U.S. population.”

The New York Sun

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