If dissatisfaction with the candidates is turning off Black voters, so is an overall disenchantment with the system, said Dominique Pritchett, a mental health clinician and community activist in Kenosha. Clients have spoken of fears of even going to the polls because of what they see as voter suppression efforts, she said.
“Will I be targeted?” she said clients have asked her. “Will they shred my vote? Psychologically, people just feel like they truly don’t matter.”
Gathered around the front stoop of a clapboard home in Kenosha’s Uptown neighborhood on a recent afternoon, a group of men described their skepticism about voting this fall.
Mike Davis, 42, said the current turmoil over policing increased his desire to see Mr. Trump leave office. But then he thinks back to 2016.
“He’s losing in the polls, everybody says he’s not going to get it, and somehow, some way, he figured out how to get it,” Mr. Davis said. “And I feel like he’s going to do it again. It’s going to be a waste of time.”
Sentiments like that should not be uttered out loud, said his friend, Jamaal Crawford.
“If you believe that, don’t spread that because you’ll have others not voting,” Mr. Crawford, 37, said.
Mr. Crawford said he believed that voting was important and did not want others to be dissuaded.
He last voted many years ago because, for roughly the past 10 years, he has either been incarcerated or under some form of state supervision, he said. In Wisconsin, people with felony records can vote as long as they have completed their sentences and are no longer on probation or parole.