'I had an open mind,' says First Vote Sherlean Roberts

How Covid-19 pandemic and protests influenced her vote for President.
Posted at 7:01 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 14:30:12-04

MILWAUKEE — More than 600,000 Wisconsin voters have already filled out, sent in or dropped off their ballot - including Sherlean Roberts.

The Marquette University freshman has made lots of big decisions during this unprecedented year - including who she's voting for in the presidential race.

"I had an open mind," said Roberts, "looking at all the candidates, looking at what they were talking about."

Roberts is one of four First Vote students TMJ4 has been following all year on their journey to the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Our journey with Sherlean started in February before the pandemic and police use of force protests.

She was a senior at Milwaukee's Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy and crime, criminal justice reform and education are her top priorities.

At first she was looking at a long list of diverse female Democrats. "Elizabeth Warren that's who I was going for," she said.

But as the field narrowed - her final decision became clearer. The full scholarship Engineer major recently voted by absentee ballot for Joe Biden.

Two key events influenced her vote. This summer Sherlean contracted Covid-19, but was asymptomatic. She has more confidence in Biden's science-based approach to the virus.

"He's taken the Covid very seriously," said Roberts, "he has a plan on how he feels he wants to stop it, rather than Trump, [who] feels like you shouldn't have to wear a mask, but now look you have Covid."

Then came the protests for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake. Sherlean believes President Trump has been more divisive on police use of force and social injustice issues.

"You're making it into this situation, that should be handled with really just talking to the people, into this bigger - it's like a volcano," said Roberts. "It's just erupting, it's just falling over and over again because you are not taking the necessary steps to be able to find a solution."

Sherlean is the first of our First Vote students to vote - will let you know about the other three when they make their choice for president.

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