Most of Philadelphia’s primary Democratic votes were not cast for the people.

The immense majority of votes cast in Philadelphia’s Democratic presidential primary were marked as invalid, likely a success for a campaign that urged voters to write the word “disengaged” to protest President Joe Biden’s support for Israel.

Philadelphia elections officials indicated last month that they would mark “uncommitted” votes as invalid rather than provide specific numbers for the word. Pennsylvania election law only requires counties to count votes cast for an individual. As a result, any write-in votes that mentioned uncommitted or other non-personal entities such as Phanatic or Gritty may be grouped by county as invalid or scattered.

While it’s unclear what exactly these voters wrote, 14,625 write-in ballots were declared invalid, representing more than 90% of the 16,216 write-in votes cast in the Democratic contest.

Fueled by votes in left-leaning parts of the city, write-in votes accounted for 10% of Philadelphia’s presidential primary.

The percentage of invalid ballots far exceeds the percentage in previous high-profile Democratic primaries. In the 2022 U.S. Senate primary, just under one-third of write-in votes were declared invalid. This augment can likely be attributed to the unengaged campaign.

Progressive activists with the Uncommitted AP campaign, created by the Democratic Socialists of America, sought to send Biden a message of support ceasefire in Gaza, where more than 35,000 people have been killed in the region since Israel launched a military operation following the October 7 Hamas attack.

“We consider every single write-in a non-aligned vote, and the vote split in Philadelphia demonstrates our enormous influence in the Presidential vote-writing space,” non-aligned PA said in a statement

“The Unaligned AP believes the primary outcome is a strong indicator of voter sentiment in the November election. “Pennsylvania voters feel conflicted about voting for Biden, as evidenced by the overwhelming enrollment and undercount for Biden in Pennsylvania.”

However, other election returns indicated that Gaza was not motivating some Democratic voters.

Former President Donald Trump, who is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, won more write-ins than any other candidate, earning 416 votes. He was followed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. with 270 votes and Cornel West with 120 votes. Both organize independent campaigns.

Some voters also wrote on behalf of prominent progressives, including 118 votes for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and 10 for U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Philadelphians showed support for influential Pennsylvania Democrats, as 10 voted for Gov. Josh Shapiro and six wrote a letter to U.S. Sen. John Fetterman.

A handful of voters also turned to sports and pop culture to cast write-in votes. Four Democratic voters wrote to the recently retired Eagles center Jason Kelce, and the three lent their support to international pop star Taylor Swift, who is also dating Kelce’s younger brother, Travis.

400 write-in votes were recorded in the Republican Party presidential primary. More than a quarter of these votes were declared invalid.

Biden won 95 write-in votes from Republicans, followed by former US Republican Liz Cheney, who voted for Trump’s second impeachment, who received 31 write-in votes. Twenty-nine Republican Party voters wrote in Robert F. Kennedy and three wrote in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Kelce, who will join ESPN from the Eagles, also won one vote in the GOP primary.

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Latest Posts