Discussions begin in some states about how to select 'uncommitted' delegates

Michigan, Missouri and Washington are starting the process, groups said.

"Uncommitted" or "no preference" vote efforts have gradually picked up delegates this primary cycle, with six more added this week, according to ABC News' tracking.

The uncommitted option has been promoted as a way to protest President Joe Biden's policies in the Israel-Hamas war.

With more than 30 states and territories having voted this cycle so far, 25 uncommitted delegates will be sent to the Democratic National Convention in August, according to ABC News' estimates. One delegate will be sent from a no preference category. There are currently 2,596 delegates allocated to Biden, according to ABC News' current count.

Massachusetts, Missouri and Washington have this week officially allocated delegates to the uncommitted or no preference categories, according to ABC News' current vote estimates, joining Hawaii, Michigan and Minnesota in sending what are sure to be anti-Biden representatives to the party's convention in Chicago.

In some of those states -- including Michigan and Washington, where there was substantial mobilization surrounding the uncommitted vote -- organizers have begun to think about the people who might serve as their delegates at the convention.

Those people are usually not decided until after the number of delegates is allocated within each party. While some delegates are directly elected in primaries, most are selected well after, at congressional district and statewide caucus conventions or by party committees.

Michigan was where the protest vote movement first emerged as a significant force during the nominating race.

Pro-Palestinian organizers in Michigan, which has a sizable population of people of Middle Eastern and North African descent, urged voters to cast ballots for an uncommitted option over Biden in a rebuke of the president's support of Israel's campaign against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Hamas carried out an incursion from Gaza into southern Israel by air, land and sea on Oct. 7, 2023, killing more than 1,200 people and taking 253 others hostage, according to Israeli authorities. More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 74,000 others have been injured in Gaza since Oct. 7, amid Israel's ongoing ground operations and aerial bombardment of the strip, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

The efforts in Michigan first gained steam ahead of the state's February primary as a protest to the Biden administration's handling of the Israel-Hamas war. The efforts continued in Minnesota on Super Tuesday and then in Washington state later in March. There were also moves, though slightly less high-profile, in Massachusetts, Missouri and Hawaii.

Pro-Palestinian protestors hold banners and chant slogans during a rally against the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant's visit to the U.S. State Department, March 25, 2024, in Washington.
Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu via Getty Images

Discussions begin about selecting uncommitted delegates for convention

Leaders of Listen to Michigan, one of the groups behind the push to cast uncommitted votes in the state, have said they've started working with the Michigan Democratic Party to select their two delegates but stressed that their representatives would be "anti-war" voices.

"We have had productive conversations with the Michigan Democratic Party, including the Michigan Democratic Party chair, with the hope and expectation that our delegates who will be sent to the Democratic National Convention will be those delegates who will be carrying that and lifting up that anti-war voice that voters registered at the ballot box," Abbas Alawieh, a Listen to Michigan organizer, told ABC News.

In Michigan, the delegates will be chosen at a meeting of the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee on June 1.

In Washington, ​registered members of state legislative districts will vote to elect the delegates they want to represent them at the State National Convention in June. The uncommitted campaign can only endorse delegate candidates, according to Kelsey Hamlin, a core volunteer with the uncommitted movement in the state.

Hamlin said the Uncommitted WA campaign is "pointedly trying to help Palestinian candidates run as uncommitted delegates," and they will ensure that whoever gets their stamp of approval embodies their movement's message.

In Missouri, too, where there was a quick but intense organization of an Uncommitted Vote Missouri campaign, movement leaders have started to think about who will serve as their three delegates.

"This was a community-led grassroots campaign, and it will be up to that community of activists and organizers to decide how they're represented at the Democratic convention," Fatima Mohammadi, a leader with Al-Hadaf, a chief organization that pushed an uncommitted vote in Missouri, told ABC News. Mohammadi's response represents the stance of Free Palestine Kansas City, another leading uncommitted organization, she said.

The criteria for choosing those delegates, Mohammadi said, will "certainly be focused on the ideals of collective liberation and equity for all," with a particular focus on ending the ongoing war.

Protesters hold Palestinian flags and placards during a Cease Fire on Gaza rally, Oct. 28, 2023, in Detroit.
Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE

Where have uncommitted or no preference delegates been picked up?

According to ABC News' current delegate count estimate, uncommitted has picked up the most delegates in Minnesota, earning 11.

There are five at-large delegates allocated to uncommitted, while the districts allocating delegates to uncommitted are Minnesota's 2nd, 4th and 5th districts, according to the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). The 2nd District covers a swath of the Twin Cities metro area, the 4th District includes St. Paul and the 5th District includes Minneapolis.

According to ABC News' current delegate count estimate, the next highest share of uncommitted delegates comes from Hawaii, where they earned seven delegates. Uncommitted received three at-large delegates in the state, two from its 1st District and two from its 2nd District -- the only two congressional districts in the state.

In Missouri, according to ABC News' current delegate count estimate, uncommitted has picked up three delegates. Those delegates came from the state's 1st and 2nd Congressional districts. The St. Louis-area 1st District is represented by Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., who has been a vocal critic of Israel's activity in Gaza and is the sponsor of a cease-fire resolution in Congress. The 2nd District also includes parts of St. Louis.

Michigan saw the largest raw number of uncommitted votes (101,400), according to ABC News' tracking, but they earned just two delegates. One delegate came from Michigan's 6th Congressional District and the other came from the 12th Congressional District, which is represented by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., a high-profile supporter of the uncommitted vote efforts and the only Palestinian member of Congress.

Washington state saw the second-highest vote total for the uncommitted movement and earned two delegates, according to ABC News' count. Both delegates came from Washington's 7th Congressional District.

According to ABC News' current delegate count estimate, no preference has picked up one delegate in Massachusetts. The delegate came from the state's 7th Congressional District, which includes large swaths of Boston and Cambridge.

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