Another E-day in the books. This was my third, and I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. There was lots of time to read the manual between voters yesterday; turnout was pathetic. The city clerk is estimating 11 percent. In the no-shows’ defense, it was a pretty lackluster slate. The mayor faced no serious opposition, the council candidates were…council candidates, and the city charter revision was at the city-governance-nerd level, an unlikely demographic in the precinct I worked, which draws from a pretty low-income part of the city. People arrived before and after work hours in health-care scrubs and the sort of uniforms that suggested employment other than in the C-suite.
But that they showed up at all was something of a miracle — walkers, canes, unsteady gaits — and as always, I think of how we can make voting easier, encourage more people to participate, make them understand how important it is, even in lackluster cycles. In other words, to do the work that the entire GOP, top to bottom, is trying to thwart.
It’s already reasonably accommodating. Proposal 3 of 2018 brought in a lot of election reforms here in Michigan, and as a lowly poll worker, I’m always struck by what is the overarching principle of elections and the ten million rules around our procedures, i.e., the right to vote is hard-won and shouldn’t be stripped away lightly. This is why my ass gets chapped when the brain-dead among us post snarky, recycled social media memes that ask why you need to show an ID to get on a plane, but not to vote. To which I reply, first, you do have to show ID to vote in Michigan, but sometimes people lose IDs, or just don’t have them for whatever reason. Should they be denied the most fundamental right of democracy because they misplaced their wallet? (Republicans: Yes! They’re irresponsible, except when it happens to me, in which case it’s just a misfortune!) So we have the affidavit system, etc. Also, getting on a plane isn’t the same as voting, so just shut up about that.
Anyway, I hope we followed all the procedures correctly and there won’t be the usual spate of pearl-clutching around the inevitable mistakes. (There won’t be, because this was a Detroit city election, and the pearl-clutchers don’t care about Detroit.)
My co-workers this time were lots of fun. The chairman for my precinct was, I learned in a series of revelations spread out through the 16-hour day, a sailor-mouth coffee drinker who used to ride motorcycles and sometimes will live for a couple days on healthy snacks rather than actual meals, and has been divorced twice. He also digs classic rock and subscribes to the Nation, which at the end was maybe the funniest of the day. He read the latest issue off and on, then pressed it on one of the other workers with a hearty endorsement. When the men’s-room door was unexpectedly locked, he speculated almost instantly that maybe a junkie had gone in there, locked the door for privacy to shoot up, and had OD’d and died within. Interesting conclusion! But it turns out it was just an accident. Before the custodian came to remedy the situation, he used the ladies’, which he said “smelled much nicer” and was also “pretty.”
So that was E-Day III for me, and I hope I have a few more. I leave you with this helpful illustration from the operations manual. Recall that one of the more ignorant complaints about the November fiasco at the TCF Center in Detroit is that GOP poll challengers were “locked out” of the room where the absentee counting boards were working. They were not, of course; there were at least a couple hundred already inside when the room reached capacity and security prevented any more from entering. But the people screaming outside and pounding on the windows were not trained challengers; I guess they’d qualify as poll watchers, but my point here is that as in most other election-related practices, there was a procedure in place and they did not respect it. Happy Wednesday, all.
Suzanne said on August 4, 2021 at 9:18 am
My parents worked at the polls in Ft Wayne for years. My mom is 86 and tells me all the time that it would be almost impossible to cheat in an election. I keep telling her that it’s the GOP that is claiming the 2020 election was not fair, and she says that of course it was fair, but will she still vote mostly GOP? I am betting that yes, she will. She surprised me in 2020 by not voting for Trump as she did in 2016 (“We always just vote straight ticket Republican honey”) but I don’t have high hopes for the future. Old habits die hard.
People who don’t put much thought into their vote will be the death of us all.
Deborah said on August 4, 2021 at 9:40 am
Nancy, you’ve inspired me to see if I can work at the polls during an election. I’ve never thought to do it before, but it’s a good way to exercise your civic duty besides voting. I’m going to wait until the resurgence of the pandemic abates though. I don’t want to be a breakthrough case, or any case. I do not want to get the virus, or a cold even.
I watched the latest video of the disruptive passenger on a flight, and wow that guy was a drunk, obnoxious asshole, worst of the worst. And the weird thing is he had previously won an award for being a model fraternity member from his university. The flight attendants resorted to taping him to his seat to keep him under control. Fellow passengers of course videod the whole thing on their phones. The flight attendant were at first blamed for how they controlled him, but he was a mess and that seemed to be their last resort. What a world.
basset said on August 4, 2021 at 9:49 am
I’ve worked several recent elections in Nashville, usually a pretty good turnout in our suburban precinct.
Just finished a tour of Indiana and Michigan road construction, up to Cadillac and back down… two freeways completely closed, 196 at Grand Rapids and 37 at Martinsville, if it wasn’t for GPS we’d probably still be out in the cornfields north of Bloomington somewhere. Stayed at a Baymont in the Fort among several other stops, usually those are cheap and reasonably clean but not this one.
rb said on August 4, 2021 at 10:02 am
Dear Nancy – thanks for performing a valuable and (almost) thankless service.
Jeff Borden said on August 4, 2021 at 10:23 am
Your work at the polls is laudatory. Compare and contrast what the knobs in the Texas legislature are doing, which would hold lowly poll workers accountable for any errors with fines and potential jail time. Yeah, boy, that will certainly draw volunteers to the election sites. The malevolence of Republicans is only multiplying, particularly at the state level, but President Biden seems not to grasp just how tenuous things are or he’d be pushing the voting rights bill with all his heart and soul.
Neil Steinberg in today’s Sun-Times warns of now close we are to becoming a broken nation –he uses Lebanon as his example– and it’s painful to see how easily we may fall into that category. The descent already has begun and is being openly encouraged by the QOP and rightwing propagandists.
Julie Robinson said on August 4, 2021 at 10:48 am
Since our daughter’s church is a polling place we’ll probably be working the polls in the future, but as volunteers. The rental fee for the venue increases with the number of workers provided by the venue, which is a cheap way for Florida to off-load the process of finding workers. Training is done by the state, though.
After all the drama of having to find pool alarms in three hours yesterday, our inspection for today was cancelled. No explanation. They did send a guy to look at the roof.
Deborah said on August 4, 2021 at 11:25 am
I didn’t know there was such a thing as a pool alarm. I googled it.
David C said on August 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm
If you’ve never known who had trouble getting ID you probably have no idea how hard it can be. When my mom was trying to get her Real ID she had a hard time because her name is Mary Lou and that’s the way it is on her birth certificate. Her middle name was misspelled on their marriage license as “Lu”. She said that she told the county clerk at the time that it was wrong and he sighed and said “You want me to have someone retype this for that? It doesn’t make any difference.” so mom and dad said it would be OK. Anyone who has had to change a government document knows it’s every bit as difficult as anyone could imagine.
Suzanne said on August 4, 2021 at 12:27 pm
My mother tried to get her Real ID but couldn’t because the only marriage license she had was the one from the church, not the official state license. She got a regular drivers license instead since she isn’t going anywhere, but she’s still upset about it.
She’s also bothered by the push to get rid of voting by mail, since she says there is no way she could go to the polls. I do point out to her frequently that it’s the GOP that she always votes for who are behind this, but I don’t think it’s sinking in.
Deborah said on August 4, 2021 at 12:32 pm
David C. I couldn’t agree more. Trying to get LB a State ID in NM was extremely hard. It took my help and we both had a hard time getting all of the paper work together. Because all of the utility bills go to us in Chicago, she didn’t have any of that to use as proof of her address. She didn’t yet have a Dr or medical bills sent to her address. I don’t even remember what we ended up using but it took us a couple of trips with various documents to get the damn thing. And LB doesn’t drive so just getting to the DMV was not easy until I was there and able to drive her. I didn’t retire until a few months after she started living in Santa Fe so she was without an ID during that time. I can totally see how many people have a hard time getting an ID because I lived it with LB. My husband and I didn’t have any problems getting our Real ID which was a miracle because the pandemic was raging. When LB got her Real ID they spelled her name wrong, she didn’t notice it on the paper they handed to her, it wasn’t until the card came in the mail that she noticed it and we had to go back to redo it. A lesson in be sure to scrutinize everything all of the time, don’t assume it was done correctly the first time.
Sherri said on August 4, 2021 at 12:40 pm
Vote by mail is great. Yes, it’s not perfect, no system is, but we’ve been running vote by mail in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and now California smoothly and with much higher turnout.
Jeff Borden said on August 4, 2021 at 12:42 pm
Obtaining a photo ID is also onerous for the rural poor, who often lack access to a car or decent public transportation. When Alabama began requiring photo ID cards, the state also closed the BMV offices in majority black counties. The Republicans aren’t exactly subtle when they pull this shit.
Julie Robinson said on August 4, 2021 at 3:14 pm
It was onerous for my mom, a lifelong Republican voter. They rejected all her original certificates and we had to download forms that to be notarized and accompanied by a check to get certified copies. She was ready to let herself be disenfranchised. I can only imagine all the barriers for those without resources.
Inspection today was canceled, no explanation.
Julie Robinson said on August 4, 2021 at 6:35 pm
Suzanne, your mom can get a marriage certificate from the county where the license was obtained. We got our license in Allen County even though we were married in Bloomington. D just walked into the City County building and they pulled it up, printed it, and put on the seal while he waited. I had been worried about our certificate because the pastor used white-out on it, but like your mom, they wouldn’t take it anyway.
Compared to getting our certificates from Iowa it was a piece of cake.
And I should say that Mom is no longer a lifelong R.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2021 at 7:59 am
So, on the ugliness and racism front, our GOP co-chair of the county elections board has been and is on a tear about . . . citizenship verification. He wants voter registration processes changed to check citizenship status, because he’s certain non-citizens are voting, “in huge numbers!” here in our county.
Now, some back story. On the edge of our county, but largely within our one school district that bridges both Franklin County (where Columbus, the state capital is) and our own exurb/rural Licking County, we have a 50,000+ Somalian community, second only oddly enough to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in the US. We also have a Bhutanese-Nepalese community, who number around 30,000 . . . we assume the first arrivals came to the Reynoldsburg area and loved how it reminded them of the Himalayas back home.
Well, the Somalis are well organized, culturally and clan-wise, and they tend to get registered as soon as they become citizens, so about 10,000 of them are naturalized, with 60-some percent registered, call it 6,000 voters. The Nepalis (they tend to be lumped under that shorter term in conversation) have learned from their neighbor immigrants, and close to 6,000 of them are new citizens (see picture at bottom of link), with 1,000 registered to vote.
Of that, about half live in our county. This is where our Board of Elections co-chair is livid: “The Democrats pushed registering Nepalis (true) and they registered 500 (true, but not just in the last few years), and we have no way of checking to see if they’re citizens or not, which is just criminal!” Then he goes on as if it’s a given that if our county has 500 Nepalis registered, many of them ipso facto must be non-citizens, which his friends all take for granted because I think the idea that we have in one school district around 2,000 people voting who rarely speak English in everyday life is something they find profoundly disturbing. This is probably made worse for them by the fact that, in the words of one of their community organizers, they “all vote Democratic, except for a super tiny number of Republican Somali voters.”
Of course, when some of us argue with him (a high calorie, low impact exercise), pointing out the only way to do what he wants is to first run at massive cost the existing database of voters through some kind of citizenship check, and then create a new bureaucracy at the point of new registration processing that will be expensive and create new complications for registrars, he replies “whatever it takes to make sure only citizens are voting.” In his mind, if large numbers of immigrant ethnicities are voting, there must be fraud, whether there’s a hint of it actually going on or not; pointing out “that’s pretty much the definition of racism” just triggers the next rant about critical race theory needing to be banned federally, which gives me the chance to say “and when did Republicans start pushing for more federal involvement in curriculum and local standards?” Yet another bit of irony lost on the breeze.
Meanwhile, on the Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio webpage about voting, it closes with these words:
“Many Americans have fought and died in order for all of us to have the right to vote. Honor them and yourself by voting!”
nancy said on August 5, 2021 at 9:22 am
What part of Jeff’s comment surprises me? Not a word. Although I did laugh at the Reynoldsburg jape.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2021 at 9:26 am
Sherri said on August 5, 2021 at 11:28 am
He’d really love me, then, since I don’t see any reason why non-citizens shouldn’t be allowed to vote in local elections. They’re living, working, paying taxes, and going to school in the community just like everybody else; why are they excluded from participating in self-governance?
Jeff Borden said on August 5, 2021 at 12:04 pm
Those of you with access to “The New Yorker” should read Jane Mayer’s chilling account of the huge money rightwing zealots financing the ridiculous ballot audit in Arizona and other areas. You may learn of some new fascist supervillains –I was unaware of how batshit crazy the Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee is, for example– and you’ll see how they plan to so weaken confidence in electoral politics that state legislatures will have the excuses they need to take back our right to vote for national office. Remember, we’ve only been electing senators at the ballot box since 1913 and many of the most hardcore righties would dearly like to see that reversed.
The article made me want to scream at Joe Biden –along with Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema– to eliminate the filibuster and push the voting rights bill through NOW! Otherwise, we are going to witness a full assault on our franchise in 2022 and 2024.
One last note: White Power Hour host Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson is broadcasting his propaganda from Hungary and will be the featured speaker at a far right conference there. What Viktor Orban has done in Hungary –allegedly a democracy but not really– could be a template for our own QOP here. These fuckers are deadly serious about seizing and holding power through any means necessary.
Dave said on August 5, 2021 at 12:17 pm
When I was growing up in Pickerington, we did a lot of shopping in Reynoldsburg because, in those days, that was where the closest grocery stores were. How we dreaded getting out our four wheel vehicle and putting on all of our heavy clothing, not to mention the mountain climbing gear that we needed to ascend to both the Super Duper and Kroger’s. It was so difficult leaving, carrying what was always brown paper sacks in those days, strapping them on, trying to fit some of our goods in backpacks. It was always good to get back to the flatlands of Pickerington.
Deborah said on August 5, 2021 at 1:14 pm
A couple of days ago, or maybe it was yesterday (?) I tried reading that Jane Mayer NYer article and had to quit because it was so depressing. I will try to make it through the rest of it because it is important to recognize the reality that this is actually happening.
Our friends from Paris were here yesterday afternoon with their kids, it was delightful seeing them, especially the kids, they speak fluent French now and it’s so cute listening to them and seeing them have all the typical French mannerisms and inflections. Their Papa is from France and always spoke French at home, while their Daddy spoke English, so they’ve always understood both languages but when they were little in Chicago they were reluctant to speak French. It took them about 3 months to get comfortable with speaking French in school in Paris. Lily is 13 now and Victor is 11, oh how they have grown. Both really sweet too. They call their Dads Papa and Daddy. Their Papa is very involved with them while their Daddy is more laissez-faire, they’re both great dads.
Jeff tmmo, I was wondering how a town in Ohio could resemble the Himalayas and Dave your comment made me chuckle.
Suzanne said on August 5, 2021 at 1:49 pm
Jeff Bordan @19, we know a young man who grew up in Hungary and is now a US citizen. Your thought “What Viktor Orban has done in Hungary –allegedly a democracy but not really– could be a template for our own QOP here.” is absolutely what he has been telling us for several years. He’s quite upset about it. He’s expressed that he believes Hungary was Putin’s test run and it worked so well, he’s trying the same tactics on the US. And it is working.
I read this article a while back. Helps explain Russia’s attitude regarding Putin.
ROGirl said on August 5, 2021 at 2:31 pm
Deborah, I had the same reaction to the Jane Mayer article: too depressing; can’t read. She’s written a lot about the Koch brothers and the Mercers, too.
beb said on August 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm
td;cr needs to be a new internet word — “too depressing; can’t read.” There are a lot of articles like that.
susan said on August 5, 2021 at 4:17 pm
Imagine being Jane Mayer and really knowing the depths of this deep $h!†. She’s been digging into LOTS of deep $h!† for years. It surely must take a toll on her well-being.
Jeff Borden said on August 5, 2021 at 5:58 pm
I first read a Jane Mayer book when she revealed the dark and horrifying story of how the Bush/Cheney administration embarked on the horror of torture during the Iraq War. She’s an exceptional reporter and a very good story teller. Her pieces are always worth reading.
Sometimes, it seems like we’re in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” We see the things going on on the local, county and state levels of government. We see prominent Republican leaders in Congress pooh-poohing the Jan. 6 insurrection and still clinging to the “big lie” about the 2020 election. And yet we’re still putzing around. . .still trying to push Joe Biden and the FUCKING MAJORITY in Congress to act like the shit is going to hit the fan because if they don’t it will.
Sometimes, I despair. And then I open a Two-Hearted Ale and things seem a little better.
Deborah said on August 5, 2021 at 10:14 pm
It’s starting to get hotter in Chicago and in a couple of days the highs will be near 90. Ugh. Not looking forward to that with no AC.
Things are going crazy in Abiquiu, of the 13 households that use the road up to the properties 11 of them want to try to return the arroyo crossing to its natural state pre-causeway which was installed by a developer. 2 households think they know best and are throwing a monkey wrench into the investigation of possibilities. They’ve said they won’t financially support anything except short term patchwork which over the long haul will be expensive and throw off time schedules and make emergency vehicles impossible to cross sometimes. It’s maddening. The arroyo crossing has blown out 5 times this summer, which has never happened before. No one knows if this is the new normal but I wouldn’t be surprised if crazy stuff is going to keep happening because of climate change.
Heather said on August 6, 2021 at 12:09 pm
Sometimes I wonder if things are worse than ever before or if it’s just that we know more about what’s going on in the world thanks to social media, etc. It does seem like this is just the latest iteration of a very old struggle between those who crave power at all costs and those who just want things to be fairer and kinder for everyone.
With all the heat in Chicago, I was concerned about the plants on our back patio–several people volunteered to water on certain days and it seemed like in recent weeks only me and one other neighbor (who are the ones who buy and plant everything) do it. I just wanted to check to see if anyone needed me to take over and to tell them to let me know if they were unable to water on certain days, and now everyone’s getting all defensive about it. I’m just concerned about the plants! I like watering them! It’s not a big deal! Sheesh. Also the defensive ones are the younger people who are saying things like “well sometimes it seems like someone else waters on my days and then I don’t know if I should schedule it or not.” It takes all of two minutes to check the plants and 15-20 minutes to water. Sheesh. My neighbor and I are becoming the cranky old ladies of the building.
Julie Robinson said on August 6, 2021 at 3:51 pm
So it appears we’ve become true Floridians as our AC had to be serviced today and we’re on our way to the rodent house, heat be damned. The gf could get us in free today for their food and wine festival and I couldn’t say no to such a generous offer. Pray for us!
Deborah said on August 6, 2021 at 6:56 pm
Julie, the day we went to the rodent house as you so hilariously call it, back when LB was 5, it got up to 105 degrees. We were so miserable, and all LB wanted to do was go back to our cheezy motel and go in the pool. We never did anything like that again. It was a hot one in Chicago today, the high was maybe 84 but it was muggy. My least favorite.
We walked down to the Art Institute today and saw the Obama portraits. They made it a three or so room exhibit, explaining the other works of the artists and how the Obamas came to choose them and the history of the sittings etc also how the Obamas connect with Chicago in time and place. It made me and my husband both cry, it was so cool to see the back stories, and the actual paintings are amazing. Worth a trip to Chicago to see them, IMHO. also seeing so many families positioning their kids in front of the paintings to take photos was very moving.
basset said on August 6, 2021 at 8:49 pm
The opposite of Deborah and LB’s experience: when Basset Jr was in elementary school I took him and one of his friends to the big race at Indy, bought them each a sandwich, and told them “you’re eating a tenderloin at the 500, that’s as Hoosier as it gets.”
The Indy cars will race through our downtown streets this weekend, looks like a good show but Charlie Kimball’s not running.
Sherri said on August 6, 2021 at 9:50 pm
The difference a five hour drive makes…
I’m in Spokane this weekend for a small powerlifting conference. At home in Redmond, where the vaccination rate is around 90%, most people are still masking indoors with the rise of Delta. Here, with the vaccination rate still south of 50%, almost no one is wearing a mask.
At least no one has yelled at me for wearing a mask. Not even the man in the three percenter t-shirt at the coffee stand this morning (we had a nice chat about women and lifting weights.)
Julie Robinson said on August 6, 2021 at 10:50 pm
Lots of masks at Epcot and required when inside, didn’t see anyone having to be told to comply.
We ate our way around the world showcase, did a couple of the gentle rides, then at the end of the day our ride broke and we had to walk down 10 flights of stairs. Which meant we missed the fireworks, but oh well. Mom was a real trooper.
Dave said on August 6, 2021 at 11:29 pm
I learned today that a fellow retiree passed away of Covid this morning in Colorado. He didn’t believe in the pandemic, he didn’t believe he should get vaccinated, and he refused to wear a mask. He had driven out to Las Vegas from Fort Wayne and on his way back, started feeling sick in Colorado. After a month in the hospital, he lost the fight. I knew he thought differently but didn’t know he was that willing to risk all. He was 65.
Deborah said on August 7, 2021 at 6:17 am
A horrible design problem https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/07/us/vessel-hudson-yards-suicide-wellness/index.html. When I first saw photos of The Vessel I thought it looked terrifying. Thinking about possible “jumpers” is a real thing that architects are taught, or at least they should be.
Deborah said on August 7, 2021 at 9:19 am
The shit has officially hit the fan concerning our window replacement project in the Santa Fe condo. We are actively searching for an attorney to represent the condo association. We don’t know that many people in Santa Fe and have no experience with lawyers there except for the lawyer that our former landlady used when she sold us our condo. He’s a nice enough guy but seems like sort of a wimp, we’re looking for a badass who’s not afraid to go after this woman, because she needs some consequences for her horrible behavior and bad judgement, plus she’s bringing down the value of the whole building. Does anyone have any advice about how to go about finding a good lawyer? I’ve of course looked on-line, we have a lawyer friend in Abiquiu, who I’ve asked for advice. He’s not the right kind of lawyer and he’s got some major health issues. Anyway, I’m kind of stumped. Alex, I think you work for a law firm, how does one go about looking for the right kind of attorney?
diane said on August 7, 2021 at 9:49 am
Deborah, call other condo associations, particularly similarly sized ones, and ask who they use and have used and are they satisfied. They may not totally pan someone they didn’t like but you will be able to tell who they liked.
Suzanne said on August 7, 2021 at 1:40 pm
That is so sad about The Vessel! We were there the last time we were in NYC and it’s very cool to see and walk around in. I never even thought about how easy it would be to jump off.
Deborah said on August 7, 2021 at 3:07 pm
Thanks Diane, that’s helpful. Two of the owners of units in our building have a local property management company that handles their units interior maintenance issues, not the exterior. I asked them if they felt comfortable contacting that management company to see if the company could recommend a lawyer from their other properties and they said they will do that. Meanwhile I got online and looked up condos in Santa Fe, looking for ones about our size, finding a lot, now I just have to figure out who to contact to find out if they can refer me to a lawyer their assoc uses etc. Again, thanks for that suggestion.
A. Riley said on August 7, 2021 at 5:57 pm
Re the Vessel in New York: The State of Illinois Building in Chicago ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_R._Thompson_Center ) has a big open atrium and the terrazo floor at the bottom of it was patterned almost like a (guess!) target. Architect Helmut Jahn, may he rest in piece, didn’t think that one through at all. (The building had/has a lot of other problems too.) Let’s say the people who would use the building just weren’t considered in the design process.
Deborah said on August 7, 2021 at 6:47 pm
My husband has designed a number of courthouses in various places and jumpers are always a concern in those types of buildings, as people are distraught for obvious reasons. Especially places where they also have family courts. The sad, sad, sad thing about that latest suicide at The Vessel, is that is was a 14 year old who was there with his family.
LAMary said on August 8, 2021 at 12:21 pm
Younger son the merch roadie is in Detroit today. He told me about massive traffic issues caused by the Canadian customs rule book strike. He thinks that’s a very Canadian way to strike.
Deborah said on August 8, 2021 at 5:52 pm
It’s 91 degrees in Chicago, and humid as hell. I’m ready to hop on a plane and go back to NM. I have 2 weeks to go here. It does get better according to my weather app, tonight and tomorrow it rains, so cooler tomorrow then right back up in the 90s on Tuesday. Ugh. I. Do. Not. Like. This. At. All.
alex said on August 9, 2021 at 6:50 am
Deborah, so sorry to get here late. I was gone all weekend.
Probably most people find attorneys (good ones, anyway) through referrals. I know a retired couple in Santa Fe, both of whom were attorneys. Perhaps they could recommend someone. I’ll put out a feeler and see what happens.