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How It Works

It was my third bike ride to my client's home not far from my home/office. In her eighties and recovering from a stroke, she had asked me to prepare her estate plan and I was making my fourth house call related to it. Why four times, one might ask? The first two trips were related to gathering the information and witnessing her signature on the completed documents. However, after they were signed her diligent daughter caught one mistake, then another, and I needed to correct them.

She greeted me at the front door. I apologized for not getting it right the first time and explained that it was because I was so busy working on the upcoming election, specifically on campaign finance reform, on the ballot in California, and e-voting problems. I expressed my concern that as more and more people across the nation have their votes counted on "secret software," how can we be confident that they are accurately counted?

She graciously forgave me and we had the paperwork done in a matter of minutes. As I put by bicycle helmet back on, she said "Wait a minute," searched for her purse, and handed me three twenty dollar bills for all my efforts. I was stunned by the gift from this woman of modest means.

I knew the sixty dollars was not a tip for making mistakes, so I told her that it would be sent to one of the organizations I am working with to help change the way our decision makers are getting elected.

Elated, I nearly flew back home on my bike. This is how it works!
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Gail Jonas is a lawyer and voting activist in Northern California.

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