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Election Reform/ Lessons for Living

Date Thursday - January 22, 2015
Host George Noory
Guests Jonathan D. SimonKarl Pillemer

In the first half, Graduate of Harvard University and NYU Law School, Jonathan Simon discussed his work with the Election Defense Alliance, whose mission is to restore observable vote counting to American elections and reform the current vulnerabilities of electronic voting systems."Votes are being counted in the pitch dark of cyberspace," he lamented, adding that we have no basis for trust in this process. "As a matter fact, we have copious evidence-- statistical evidence, numerical evidence, anecdotal evidence galore that there has been manipulation of these counts." With the vote counting hooked up to networked systems, we are vulnerable to hackers anywhere in the word, he pointed out.

While Americans tend to have the attitude that vote tampering doesn't happen here, manipulations are taking place in many critical state elections, as well as primaries, where there is little scrutiny over the voting process, he argued. Simon first became aware of the magnitude of the problem when he got access to unpublished exit polling data, which showed that the voting totals were off in a very specific pattern-- the totals didn't jibe with the exit polls, but only in battleground states. We could move to an observable vote counting system by having Americans of all stripes come out as vote counters on election night in a congregational manner, he suggested.

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In the latter half, Professor at Cornell University, Karl Pillemer shared his scientific research on how people develop and change throughout their lives. He has interviewed thousands of older Americans on their experiences throughout life, and how they've navigated love, marriage, children, work, happiness, and avoiding regrets. There are three key elements to longevity and health-- maintaining social contacts, and staying physically active and mentally engaged, he detailed. Surprisingly, the rate of happiness starts to go up for people 70 and over, possibly because their economic circumstances are better, he noted.

In spite of whatever adversarial conditions they have, the elderly who are happy tend to be so because they've learned to appreciate their lives in the now rather than waiting for something around the bend, Pillemer revealed. The divorce rate is going down, and people who are in good marriages tend to do better economically, and have better physical and mental health, he reported. Pillemer interviewed numerous long-married couples and features some of their advice in a set of YouTube clips.

News segment guests: Craig Hulet, Peter Davenport

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