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Noncommitted votes on Colorado's Democratic primary ballot hope to send message to White House

The Colorado Palestine Coalition urged Democratic voters to select the noncommitted option in the primary.
'Americans deserve better': Noncommitted votes from Colorado Democrats used to send message to The White House
Posted at 6:19 AM, Mar 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-06 08:19:11-05

DENVER — When Colorado Democrats and unaffiliated voters who decided to cast a blue ballot looked at their options, "noncommitted delegate" was at the bottom of the list.

The noncommitted delegate would have to receive 15% of the vote in order to be sent to the Democratic National Convention. As of Thursday evening, the noncommitted delegate option received just over 7% of the vote. President Joe Biden won over 80% of the vote and was the only delegate ahead of the noncommitted option.

“If there are enough votes meeting a certain threshold, the Democratic Party would send a delegate, or the State of Colorado would send a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that was not committed to any specific candidate," said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. "So that person could then vote for whoever they wanted if they came to a vote at the convention. And that's what that provision means on our ballots.”

Griswold said the Colorado Democratic Party submitted a request to add the noncommitted delegate option to the ballot. Colorado Public Radio reported the option was added to the ballot as a way to encourage young voters to participate in the primary. Colorado Republicans did not choose to add a noncommitted delegate option.

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Abrar Eljalafi is Palestinian and Dara Ollman is Jewish. The two women met for the first time during an interview on Super Tuesday, where they explained why they selected the noncommitted option on their ballots.

“I chose to vote noncommitted because this is a way of showing our solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza," said Eljalafi. “Biden was elected to represent his people, and he has been constantly not representing his people... I refuse to vote for someone that is funding a genocide and is killing my people.”

“I voted noncommitted as well, and for the same reasons. I feel that we are not being heard by our elected officials, and definitely not by President Biden," said Ollman.

In an Instagram post, the Colorado Palestine Coalition said it was inspired by uncommitted voters in Michigan. The group urged Colorado voters to send a message to The White House regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

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For the past three days, Ollman and other phone bank volunteers called Colorado voters and answered questions regarding the noncommitted delegate option.

“This doesn't change anything about how you vote in November. This is to send a message, just to have your voice be heard at the Democratic National Convention," said Ollman. “If we get 15% noncommitted, that sends one delegate to the Democratic National Convention to be our voice.”

Eljalafi said the option has made her feel that her voice is being heard.

“Americans deserve better," said Eljalafi. “There must be a better candidate or someone that can represent the Democratic Party.”