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Experience January/February 2024

Elections from Entirely New Angles

Seth D Kramer


  • The latest on the presidential horserace is everywhere. But we’ve got election insights you won’t see anywhere else.
Elections from Entirely New Angles
© 2010 Candice Cusack. No usage permitted without prior written consent. All rights reserved.

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For the last few years, elections have seemed to serve as a full-employment act for attorneys. After the 2020 election alone, 82 post-election lawsuits were filed challenging the results, with all but five defeated, according to the nonpartisan nonprofit A-Mark Foundation.

In reality, this apparent ubiquitousness of lawyers around elections may just be the effect of heightened awareness created by our 24-hour news cycle. Attorneys and the legal system have always played an important part in elections. In this issue, we highlight several aspects of that, from numerous perspectives.

John Hardin Young provides a comprehensive and clear analysis of the role of the electoral college—historically, presently, and what form it may take in the future. His colleague, Christina Bustos, tackles the very thorny issue of waiting in long lines to vote and whether being offered refreshments is legal. Although the law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, she goes beyond the classic lawyer answer of “it depends” and gives an overview of the current state of play.

Ruth Greenwood and Adam Harper write passionately about evolving federal election law and access to voting, and Douglas Church provides a thorough and entertaining look at the role third-party candidates have played throughout our country’s history.

Norm Tabler provides, as always, a clever take, this time on the ages of our most recent presidents, using his own age as a vantage point. And Joe Weeg imagines a play highlighting the impact—on a personal level—of campaigning by door knocking.

If you’re tired of the election already, we have articles for you, too. Always informative David Kaufman talks about the need to be prepared for every eventuality. David’s article, written before his daughter had to evacuate with a moment’s notice during the October 7 attack in Israel, proves the adage that you can never be too prepared.

Stephen Terrell writes frankly, yet fondly, of his new post-lawyering endeavor as a substitute teacher, and Ashley Hallene and Jeff Allen provide their usual insight and savvy in their smartphone buyers guide for Android users.

Leasha West demystifies the Medicare maze by explaining the income-related monthly adjustment amount, called IRMAA. And Al Patel writes about how to hedge against the six risks of retirement.

Finally, we have our playlist highlighting songs with an election theme. Ashley Hallene and Joan Bondareff have compiled an intriguing list that we’re sure you’re going to want to suggest additions to. Please email them to me at [email protected], then watch the next issue of Voice of Experience, the monthly electronic newsletter of the Senior Lawyers Division, for those additions suggested by you, our readers.

Enjoy the issue. And be sure to vote. It’s a privilege not all people possess but one that all citizens here in the United States should exercise.