“I didn’t vote in 2016,” Ms. Cotton, a 53-year-old school bus driver from Milwaukee, admitted. “I was really not motivated.”
“There is no change in Milwaukee,” Ms. Cotton added. “We want racial equality and a peaceful way of life — an end to all this violence.” This fall, Ms. Cotton says, she will vote for Mr. Biden and will encourage family members to vote, too.
Kushan Stampley, who was helping Ms. Cotton, discovered that she had previously registered but needed to update her address. “See? That was so easy to do,” he said. “We could do it all on your phone.”
“It helps that we’re out here,” said Mr. Stampley, who works for Souls to the Polls, an alliance of Milwaukee churches that works to encourage voting. Of the eight or nine people who stopped to register that day, Mr. Stampley said, most had never voted. “They don’t feel it will make a difference,” he said.
Charmaine Clayborn, however, was eager to register for the first time, noting that, for years, she could not vote because of a felony conviction. “I served my time and I completed my probation,” she said. (In Wisconsin, ex-felons may vote if they are no longer in jail or on extended supervision.)
“I want to vote so I can make a change,” said Ms. Clayborn, 33, a manager at a different Cousins shop. “There’s too much hurt and killing in the world and Black people not getting a chance. A lot of my people don’t vote, but we’ve got to get up and vote, if we want to be heard, not just protest. I’m trying to do that.”