Some people recognize potential threats to our democracy before others.  My guest, Barbara Simons, is one of those people.  15 years ago, not long after the infamous “hanging chads” threw the Bush v Gore vote count into turmoil and computerized voting became the new rage, Simons, a computer scientist, and some of her colleagues, concluded that in order to protect the integrity of the vote count, we would have to move to paper ballots – everywhere.  Simons became a co-founder of VerifiedVoting.Org, which is racing to inoculate America’s voting systems against hackers.  In the beginning, Simons got nowhere.  But she persisted.  With 228 days until the mid-term elections, her voice and message need to be urgently spread.  And for those of you who may not find your calling early in life, Simons will share her journey from college dropout to Ph.D.

Introducing former Army Sergeant Matt Martin, author of “I’ve Been Shot In Combat.  And As A Veteran, I’m Telling You: Allowing Teachers To Be Armed Is An Asinine Idea.”   Since writing it two weeks ago for his new hometown’s website,, Martin’s story has been viewed more than 2-million times on Facebook. “When I saw the news flash of another school shooting,” he said of the Parkland massacre, “I couldn’t help but think of the firefights I had been involved in and how these students and teachers just encountered their own version of Afghanistan.”  Listen to Matt Martin share the insights he drew from those firefights in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and why he believes they’re so relevant as Americans assess how to move forward after Parkland, Florida.    

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