blacksdontvote.com highlights the untapped power of the bme vote

28% of black and minority ethnic Brits aren’t registered to vote in this election. A last minute campaign backed by Riz Ahmed and Jamal Edwards seeks to change that statistic, highlighting how big a difference it could make.

by Charlotte Gush
|
22 May 2017, 11:25am

The provocatively titled website blacksdontvote.com has been launched in a last-minute attempt to highlight the low levels of voter registration among black and minority ethnic British people, and the impact it could have if all of those people were registered and did vote.

"Last election, we threw away 1.4 million black and minority ethnic votes," SBTV's Jamal Edwards says. "Blacks don't vote. But if we do, we'd have the power to decide who wins the election," he explains. "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? Why is unemployment three times higher than the national average in the BME community?"

Jamal notes that in order to vote, you have to be registered, but it's easy -- it takes less than 5 minutes to register online. The deadline is midnight tonight, Monday 22 May, and you can find the link on blacksdontvote.com.

Actor Riz Ahmed adds his voice to the campaign, saying, "Of all the films I've done, this might be the most important". "I get it -- I understand why it's really easy to feel that our politicians don't take notice of us, and nothing will change anyway. But sitting on the sidelines is a sure-fire way to change nothing at all," he continues, adding "Right now, 'blacks don't vote', but if we did, we would have the power to put some of the pressing issues facing our communities on the political agenda."

Information on the blacksdontvote.com website notes that "The UK Minority Ethnic vote could decide over 70 seats. Theresa May has a majority of just 12". Blacksdontvote.com was created by the racial justice and equality campaign Operation Black Vote -- an organisation set up to promote BME voices in politics and engagement with political institutions to address racial inequality.

Watch: Boy Better Know's JME has a chat about the election with Jeremy Corbyn.

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