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‘Blank ballot’ protest scores 15% in NYC in Dem presidential primary

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Showing the ongoing divide among Democrats over the Israel-Gaza conflict, 15 percent of the party’s New York City voters submitted a blank ballot in the April 2 presidential primary election.

The move was advocated by the group Leave it BLANK NYC as a protest vote against the Biden administration’s ongoing support for Israel.

The New York City Board of Elections did not provide a percentage for the number of blank ballots cast. However, City & State independently figured out that roughly 39,000 ballots were cast for none of the three listed Democratic candidates, Joe Biden, Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips.

In fact, statewide, “blank” finished second with 12 percent of the vote in the lower-turnout election, beating out Williamson (4 percent) and Phillips (3 percent), while Biden won the primary, taking 79 percent of ballots cast.

Among New York City’s five boroughs, Brooklyn saw the highest percentage of voters submitting unmarked ballots, with nearly 25 percent doing so, while in Manhattan the figure was lower, 11 percent.

According to City & State, the “blank” vote in Congressmember Dan Goldman’s District 10 was 23 percent. District 10 covers most of Manhattan south of around 14th Street, plus much of western Brooklyn, including DUMBO, Cobble Hill, Boerum Park, Gowanus, Park Slope, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Borough Park.

Leave it BLANK NYC called the New York primary an opportunity for voters to send a message for “a lasting ceasefire.” The ad hoc group included several Muslim groups, Jewish Voice for Peace, five Democratic Socialists of America chapters from around the state and Local 100 Fightback, a dissident faction seeking to topple the current leadership of the Transport Workers Union, which represents M.T.A. bus and subway workers.

Also hopping on the blank-ballot bandwagon were the Working Families Party and New York Progressive Action Network, the latter group founded by Bernie Sanders supporters after the 2016 presidential election.

The current Gaza conflict was sparked after Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, massacring nearly 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and kidnapping 250. Israel continues to demand the release of all hostages held by Hamas and aims to eradicate the terrorist group.


  1. meredith sue Levande meredith sue Levande April 13, 2024

    I think it also has to do with Congestion Pricing. I know people who left it blank as a result of it because it’s Biden’s DOT that greenlit CP.

  2. Free Palestine Free Palestine April 13, 2024

    All the people that are ok with a genocide being committed with their taxes dollars is sad and the world won’t forget.

  3. Ron Wisniski Ron Wisniski April 12, 2024

    You’ll be protesting out of the other side of your mouth if clown prince Trump wins. This is what my mom called “playing with fire.” Her advice? “Don’t.”

  4. Paul DeRienzo Paul DeRienzo April 11, 2024

    It was 50,000 voting “uninstructed” in Wisconsin last week and Biden only beat Trump by 20,000 in 2020. Wisconsin is considered the ultimate swing state and crucial for Biden. Dane County (Madison) led the way.

  5. Irene Mees Irene Mees April 11, 2024

    Just shows the power and numbers of pro-Hamas NYers. Shameful

    • anon anon April 14, 2024

      that is just the type of malicious misinformation that creates division. None of us are pro-Hamas. Many of us are Jews who don’t believe in killing and starving civilians as an answer to the horrendous attack by Hamas.

  6. John Penley John Penley April 10, 2024

    News reports are predicting riots over Palestine and Biden military funding to Israel — not to mention the US troops on aircraft carriers and bases in the region who are in a war zone, especially because the IDF bombed the Iranian Consulate in Syria — at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. I will hopefully be there myself to document the possible conflict and hope it does not turn out to be like Chicago ’68 all over again.

  7. Carol from East 5th Street Carol from East 5th Street April 10, 2024

    Thank you JS. The Trump re-election team is thrilled with this result.

  8. Bill Weinberg Bill Weinberg April 10, 2024

    I confess I stayed home that day. Couldn’t muster the wherewithal to go out in the rain to NOT vote. But as someone who is prepared to vote for Joe in November to keep MAGA-fascism at bay (and inevitably take loads of sh*t from the “Never Biden” crowd), I absolutely refute that “BLANK NYC is a vote for Trump.” This was the PRIMARY, and Biden’s victory was never in doubt or jeopardy. It was important to send this message — now. In November it will be a different story.

    • John Penley John Penley April 10, 2024

      How about Gaza ceasefire protests, which many are being arrested at in NYC almost daily? Have any of these gotten you out of your apartment? Why this mixed-message comment, Bill, with no mention of continued Biden massive weapons and troop support for the IDF and Israel?

    • mac McGill mac McGill April 11, 2024

      Agree 100 percent, Bill!

  9. JS JS April 10, 2024

    BLANK NYC is a vote for Trump. Voting is the duty of every single citizen. This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Negating this responsiblity is courting disaster.

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