How 'uncommitted' won two delegates in Michigan's Democratic primary

Eric Suter-Bull holds a Vote Uncommitted sign outside a voting location at Saline Intermediate School for the Michigan primary election in Dearborn, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Michigan is the last major primary state before Super Tuesday and a critical swing state in November's general election. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – Dissatisfied Democratic primary voters in Michigan have cast enough protest votes to deny President Joe Biden two of the state’s 117 delegates.

Michigan gives presidential primary voters an option to vote for “uncommitted,” which is listed in the last slot on the ballot.

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Under Democratic National Committee delegate selection rules, any candidate — as well as “uncommitted” — is eligible to win delegates if they receive at least 15% of the statewide vote or 15% of the vote in any congressional district. "Uncommitted” received about 17% of the vote in both the 6th and 12th congressional districts, which earned it one of the eight delegates available in the 6th District and one of the seven available in the 12th.

Michigan’s 13 congressional districts each have a varying number of delegates at stake, depending on the district’s history of support for Democratic candidates at the ballot box. A total of 77 delegates were at stake across the state.

The 12th district is represented by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian American woman in Congress and one of the most prominent supporters of a campaign encouraging Democrats to vote for the uncommitted option as a way to register discontent over Biden's handling of the war in Gaza.

Unlike most delegates awarded to candidates in primaries and caucuses, “uncommitted” delegates are not obligated to vote for any particular candidate at the Democratic National Convention this summer in Chicago. The individuals selected to fill delegate slots will be selected at party meetings later this spring, which means an “uncommitted” delegate slot may be filled by a Biden supporter who ultimately cast a vote for him a the convention.

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