Voters In CA & VT Plan to Use Primary Vote to Demand An End to Gaza Killings By Writing in “Ceasefire”


Rachel Rybaczuk

Stephen Kent

Voters In CA & VT Plan to Use Primary Vote to Demand An End to Gaza Killings By Writing in “Ceasefire”

After the success of Michigan’s Primary, voters in Super Tuesday states are using the power of their votes to call for an end to violence in Gaza.

[Los Angeles, CA – March 3, 2024] Voters in California and Vermont are joining Vote Ceasefire, a
national grassroots campaign to urge primary voters to call for immediate cessation of the killing in Gaza
by the Israeli government and military by writing in “ceasefire” on their presidential primary ballots on
Tuesday, March 5th. These are the fourth and fifth states to have joined this specific campaign, amongst
many campaigns across the country to use the presidential primary as a way to voice their discontent with the Biden Administration’s views on the war on Gaza.

Primary ballots differ from state to state, and so do the possible mechanisms for registering support for a
ceasefire on them. In last week’s primary in Michigan, the Listen to Michigan campaign asked primary
voters to mark the “uncommitted” option on their ballots as a way to signal support for a ceasefire, and
13.2% of Democratic voters – a whopping 101,000 people – did so. That indicates a large portion of
Democratic voters strongly support a ceasefire and will act on it at the polls, and shows why the Biden
campaign should take note.

“It is the moral imperative to do everything possible to support an immediate ceasefire,” said Alan
Minsky, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America and a voter in California. “Israel
is currently threatening a ground invasion of Rafah where 1.2 million Gazans are sheltering, which would
commence at the start of Ramadan (March 10 & 11), the holiest month in the Muslim calendar. The one
man on earth who can surely prevent this world-historical catastrophe from happening is the President of
the United States. The people of California support a ceasefire and they can send a clear message that the
President must act and he must act now by writing in “Ceasefire” when they vote in the presidential

In California and Vermont write-ins are the way for voters to demand a ceasefire on their primary ballots
in those states because there is no “uncommitted” option. Vote Ceasefire supporters argue that writing

“ceasefire” on the blank line below the names of presidential candidates listed on the ballot is an
immediate, unmistakably clear message that will be counted and reported by state elections officials. The
death toll in Gaza continues to mount, so votes for a ceasefire need to be counted and reported now, not
this summer or in November, Vote Ceasefire organizers say.

“Our collective action is crucial in shaping a future where our elected representatives align with our
values,” said Kimi Lee, the Executive Director of Bay Resistance. “Voters must get politicians’
attention by voting for a ceasefire, in whatever form that takes. Bay Area voters are pledging to vote for
downballot candidates committed to ceasefire and to write in “ceasefire” or leave the presidential box
blank. This is our way to send a clear message to President Biden and other elected leadership that we do
not support this war.”

“We’ve been talking to voters for months and Palestine comes up as an issue voters are concerned about,”
said Pecolia Manigo, Political Director of Oakland Rising ACTION. “It’s so powerful to hear that our
community stands in solidarity with the call for a ceasefire in Gaza. That’s why it is so important that we
remember that our elections matter and everyone must vote for pro-ceasefire candidates. Most
importantly, we need everyone to vote in our local elections because they affect resources for our schools,
housing, community programs and how our local democracy works. Our direct action must include voting so that we demonstrate that pro-Zionist corporations and millionaires cannot use their wealth to rig our state and local elections in their favor. We must vote in this primary election on March 5 and we must prepare ourselves to vote in every election moving forward because our opposition is prepared to
undermine our democracy and we cannot allow that to happen anymore.”

Vote Ceasefire mounted its first state campaign in New Hampshire just one week before the election.
Despite the short timeline, over 1% of New Hampshire Democratic primary voters wrote in “ceasefire” on
their ballots. New Hampshire election officials counted and reported those votes. Once the concept was
proven in New Hampshire, it was embraced by other grassroots Vote Ceasefire campaigns in California,
Washington, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

“When I vote in Vermont on Tuesday, I’m writing-in Ceasefire on my ballot” says Lindsay Black, a voter
from Vermont. “I do so because as a citizen of this planet, my moral obligation is to value human life. I
want my local community and voters to remember that we cast votes every day – with our money, and as a friend reminded me recently, with our feet in terms of where we show up. When we vote by filling in a
bubble oval with black ink we have the opportunity to make our voices heard. I’m going to write
“ceasefire” on my ballot because this is one thing I can do.”

Most Americans agree with them. A majority of likely voters polled, including 76% of Democrats, want
the US to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. American voters are twice as likely to support candidates
who call for a ceasefire than those who don’t, and municipal governments across the US have adopted
ceasefire resolutions. Yet the Biden Administration is not reflecting this clear majority view. On the
contrary, last month the US vetoed a widely supported UN resolution calling for an immediate
humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Vote Ceasefire gives primary voters a way to send a timely, compelling,
message that stalling on a ceasefire is unacceptable.

In addition, grassroots groups in Illinois and Oregon are starting to organize Vote Ceasefire campaigns for their primaries in mid March. Sources quoted in this release are available for comment and interviews.

To arrange an interview, please contact: Rachel Rybaczuk,, 413-768-9571 or
Stephen Kent,, 914-589-5988.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this press release incorrectly indicated Pecolia Manigo’s organization is Oakland Rising. Manigo is the Political Director of Oakland Rising ACTION.