Riz Ahmed and Jamal Edwards explain why the black and minority ethnic vote is so important
There has been a significant push to get young people to vote in this election, but the black and minority ethnic (BAME) vote has just as much chance of determining the outcome.
Operation Black Vote (OBV), an organisation set up in 1996 to ensure traditionally marginalised groups get a say in politics, has enlisted Riz Ahmed and Jamal Edwards to spread the message about why registering to vote is so important.
According to Star Wars star Riz, at the last election 1.4 million BAME people didn’t vote.
“I understand why it’s really easy to feel that our politicians don’t take notice of us and nothing will change anyway,” he said.
“But sitting on the sidelines is a sure-fire way to change nothing at all.”
Riz gave plenty of reasons why your vote could be important, and Jamal expanded on them further.
“It’s a fact, blacks don’t vote. But if we do, we have the power to decide who wins the election – and that is big. We have the power to demand more from our government, and ask questions like ‘why isn’t more money put into the poorest areas of the UK?’”
According to OBV, Croydon Central was won by the Conservatives at the last election by just 147 votes – in an area that has over 30,000 BAME voters. And they say there are many areas across the UK where the election’s outcome could be changed by the ethnic vote.
The organisation has called on Saatchi & Saatchi for an advertising campaign to remind people to register to vote by May 22, and launch blacksdontvote.com.
You can register to vote here.