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Voting mission gathers ground

VOTING RIGHTS: Members and organisers of TickIT at their launch at One Stop Shopping Centre in Perry Barr

AN INDEPENDENT group is gaining popularity in the Midlands with their mission to ensure that those of African and Caribbean heritage exercise their vote at next year’s general election.

Comprising of advocates, community leaders and volunteers, TickIT says it is a politically neutral group whose members are passionate about increasing local community involvement in the democratic process.

The group held launches in both Birmingham and Wolverhampton earlier this month and signed up scores of people who said they wanted to be registered and ready to vote at the next General Election.

ELIGIBLE

Camille Ade-John, TickIT’s chair, said: “After the last General Election in May 2010, there were 168 marginal seats where the eligible ethnic minority voters were greater than the sitting MP’s majority.

“Based on the African and Caribbean votes alone, 56 of these seats could be determined by people of African and Caribbean heritage. Our launch showed there is a growing interest from the African and Caribbean electorate in being ‘vote ready’ come 2015.

"The voting record of our people is historically low due to a lack of confidence that politicians will not do anything to address our concerns. We have to take the initiative and tell people about the political leverage and influence we now have through our votes.”

TickIT will primarily work with the Birmingham Parliamentary constituencies of Edgbaston, Northfield, Erdington, Ladywood and Yardley. In Wolverhampton – Wolverhampton North East and Wolverhampton South West; Sandwell – West Bromwich East and West Bromwich West; London – Brent Central, Croydon North, Streatham, Lewisham East, Croydon Central, Lewisham West and Penge.

The group is working in partnership with the Church of God of Prophecy. Its members believe that one of the ways to challenge disparity on issues such as stop and search, unemployment and funding cuts to community groups is by voting.

REGISTRATION

Desmond Jaddoo, director of Birmingham Empowerment Forum, who has been running voting registration clinics across the city for the past two years, added: “It’s brilliant that members of our community are taking this on board. It’s a great example of how we can work together with a common goal in mind.”

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