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50,000 'uncommitted' votes cast in Maryland in protest of Biden's response to war in Gaza

50,000 'uncommitted ' Maryland votes in protest of war in Gaza
50,000 'uncommitted ' Maryland votes in protest of war in Gaza 02:16

BALTIMORE - More than 50,000 Marylanders voted "uncommitted" in the primary elections as a protest against President Joe Biden and his response to the Israel-Hamas war.

Despite cruising to the Democratic nomination, Biden has faced a substantial vote protest in several states, including Maryland.

Voters in Maryland's Democratic party for years have had the option to vote "uncommitted" instead of voting for a Democrat candidate.

"Uncommitted' won a larger share of the vote in the 2012 primary, 11.5%, when President Obama ran for reelection.   

But this year, that option takes a new importance as activists nationwide are using it as a tool to protest against the president and his response to the war in Gaza. 

Unofficial results show that more than 51,000 people voted "uncommitted," instead of throwing their support behind Biden.

The group "Listen to Maryland" says that while they know the "uncommitted" vote isn't expected to defeat Biden, it is expected to send a message that protesters are unhappy with the way his administration is handling the war in Gaza. 

"We are hoping that this sends a message," said Samya Mohammed, with "Listen to Maryland."

Mohammed helped convince thousands of Marylanders to vote "uncommitted" this year on their Democratic primary ballot. 

The hope is that the movement will press the president to call for a permanent mutual ceasefire in Gaza.

"We want to see a ceasefire, that we want to see an end to this war and we want to see an end to President Biden sending more military aid and sending more weapons," Mohammed said. 

Mohammed says in four weeks leading up to the election, her team helped rally together thousands of voters to send their message in Maryland's primary election.

"We want President Biden to listen to us," Mohammed said. 

The option was available on ballots in several other states, including Michigan, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee.

And, the effort continues a trend seen throughout the county as pro-Palestianian protests are popping up nationwide on college campuses, including a two-week encampment at Johns Hopkins University that ended peacefully

While Biden won the Democratic vote in Maryland, Mohammed says she's hoping his administration is listening to the pleas. 

"It was purely a protest vote to send a message to impact policies," Mohammed said.

It's unclear if "uncommitted" voters will support Biden in November, but Mohammad says she is hoping that this primary election will signal to his administration to change their policies before then. 

WJZ reached out to the Maryland Democratic Party for comment but we haven't heard back.

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