Updated Apr 3, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden's New York critics to submit blank ballots over Gaza war

A person holding a "Leave it Blank" flyer

A person holds a "Leave It Blank NY" flyer on March 29 in New York City. Photo: Adam Gray/Getty Images

Activists in New York are urging voters to submit blank ballots in Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary race in an effort to pressure President Biden to demand a ceasefire in Gaza.

The big picture: The "Leave It Blank NY" campaign comes after similar efforts in other Democratic presidential primaries so far this year to protest the presumptive presidential nominee's policies on the Israel-Hamas war.

  • Other voters in states like Michigan and Minnesota have gone "uncommitted" as a sign of protest, while Wisconsin on Tuesday will have the option of "uninstructed."
  • Polls are open today until 9pm ET in New York's Democratic primary, where voters can't submit "uncommitted" or write-in votes.
  • The New York State Board of Elections told Axios that figures on total blank ballots will be available once the election is certified.

What they're saying: Brittany Ramos DeBarros, co-founder of the blank ballot campaign, told Axios: "[We] realized that this was our best option to join the national movement to pressure President Biden to listen to his base and fight for a ceasefire in Gaza before it's too late."

In a statement, the Biden campaign told Axios: "The President believes making your voice heard and participating in our democracy is fundamental to who we are as Americans."

  • Biden, the statement added, "shares the goal for an end to the violence and a just, lasting peace in the Middle East" and is "working tirelessly to that end."

Zoom in: In less than three weeks, the "Leave It Blank NY" campaign has pulled together over 50 organizations across every major city in New York that comprises a multi-faith, multi-ethnic and multi-generational movement, DeBarros said.

  • She said it represents "the kind of broad and diverse coalition" that Biden will need to beat former President Trump in November.

Between the lines: The campaign has received endorsements from several groups, including the Working Families Party.

Zoom out: The war in Gaza has hurt Biden's support among the same voters who were crucial to him flipping the state from Trump in 2020.

Go deeper: "Uncommitted" vs. Biden: How the protest vote fared on Super Tuesday

Editor's note: This story was updated with a statement from the Biden campaign.

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