Michigan ‘uncommitted’ vote sends message to ‘Genocide Joe’

Over 101,000 Michigan voters, casting a ballot in the Democratic Party primary election Feb. 27, sent a clear message to President Joe Biden. Mobilized in just a matter of weeks, they filled in the circle for “uncommitted” to protest “Genocide Joe’s” financial, military and political support for Israeli apartheid.

Michigan voters were asked to vote “uncommitted” on Feb. 27.

The newly-formed group “Listen to Michigan” called on the electorate to withhold support from Biden to send a clear message to the president. “It’s a protest vote,” explained organizer Layla Elabed. “It is a vote that tells Biden and his administration that we believe in saving lives.” Going into the primary, the group had a goal of 10,000 “uncommitted” votes.

Elabed is the sister of Michigan Congressional Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who also supported Listen to Michigan’s campaign, along with Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud. Dearborn is a suburb of Detroit with a majority Arab population in which a 56% majority of voters — 11,000 — voted “uncommitted.” The majority of ballots cast in Hamtramck, a small city surrounded by Detroit with a large Muslim community, comprised of people from many countries, also went against the president.

Statewide the vote for no candidate was around 13%, with another 6% voting for candidates other than Biden. The “uncommitted” percentage was higher in college towns such as Ann Arbor and Lansing, indicating a higher than average level of consciousness around Palestine among college-age youth. 

This protest effort occurred within one of the two major capitalist parties, neither of which exist for the benefit of the working class and oppressed people. Nevertheless, elections can be an organizing tool and serve as a barometer of popular sentiment. Hammoud rightfully called the strong showing against Biden a “resounding victory.” 

Similar campaigns are planned for upcoming primary votes in additional states.

Martha Grevatt

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Martha Grevatt

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