New symptoms of depression toolkit helps patients and caregivers with “More Than Mood” symptoms

Do you or someone you care about suffer from depression? There’s hope; there’s help. Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) has launched  “More than Mood: A Depression Symptoms Toolkit for Families and Caregivers, which helps equip patients and their caregivers – like Don and his brother Dan – with the tools they need to recognize, describe and treat  “lesser-known” symptoms of depression.

About Major Depression

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S, with nearly 16 million U.S. adults suffering from a major depressive episode a year. But there is a lack of understanding around one of the more challenging aspects of depression – cognitive impairment. While patients and clinicians are aware that depression affects mood, self-worth and energy, it can also affect reasoning, organization, attention and memory (ROAM). With resources including a symptom tracking chart that caregivers can use as a discussion guide to help describe the difficult-to-verbalize symptoms of ROAM to healthcare providers, as well as videos of two families – both a patient and caregiver – sharing their personal stories. FFDA is working to raise awareness and empower patients and caregivers with the right tools to seek effective treatment. Check out the complete Depression Symptoms Toolkit for Families and Caregivers available online.

The complete “More than Mood: A Depression Symptoms Toolkit” on the FFDA website includes a range of materials:

  • Downloadable fact sheets for patients and caregivers that describe ROAM and the role of the family caregiver in treatment, as well as a discussion guide and symptom tracking chart to help interact with clinicians
  • An online “Depression Wellness Analyzer” to assess symptoms including those related to ROAM
  • Videos featuring patients and their family caregivers sharing their experiences of managing ROAM symptoms
  • A video that demonstrates cognitive impairment in real-life situations;
  • A recorded webinar with a leading researcher about cognitive impairment; and
  • A handbook about cognitive impairment symptoms occurring with mental health conditions.

About Families for Depression Awareness

Families for Depression Awareness is a national nonprofit organization that helps families recognize, address, and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides. FFDA’s programs provide education, tools, and strategies that equip family caregivers to help those affected by mood disorders. FFDA’s staff, board of directors, and volunteers have professional or personal experience with depression, bipolar disorder, or suicide loss that both motivates and informs their work. Learn more about FFDA at

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Testicular Cancer Awareness Month: Saving men’s lives

Testicular cancer prevention tips from Men's Health

WASHINGTON — Men’s Health Network (MHN) is joining organizations and communities across the country in April to recognize Testicular Cancer Awareness Month as part of its pledge to advocate for the health and wellness of men and their families.

About Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men aged between 15 and 35 years old and has one of the highest survival rates if found early. That’s what makes prevention techniques and overall awareness critically important. According to Ana Fadich, MPH, CHES, Vice President at MHN, “Testicular cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer in young men and boys but remains a very treatable cancer,” Fadich continues, “That is why awareness is essential in reaching younger men who may not receive cancer prevention messages and educate them about the importance of early detection.”

Visit for educational resources about risk factors, warning signs, and treatment options for the disease. The site offers videos, a social media toolkit, downloadable brochures, research articles, and examples of awareness activities to turn a difficult-to-discuss problem into an interactive and easier-to-approach learning experience. This month and throughout the year, MHN is urging men to take a more active role in their health and be aware of how to screen for testicular cancer.

“Early detection for testicular cancer is absolutely critical. Many years of life from too many men and boys have been lost because of this disease,” said Dr. Michael J. Rovito, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at the University of Central Florida and Founder of Men’s Health Initiative, Inc., “It’s time males became more aware of the risks and began to take action to become familiar with their bodies.”

Rovito further recommends that “males should perform testicular self-examination monthly to monitor if anything abnormal develops. If something out of the ordinary is discovered, males should speak to their healthcare provider immediately.”

About Men’s Health Network

Men’s Health Network (MHN) is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at by following them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and Facebook. For more information on MHN’s ongoing Dialogue on Men’s Health series, visit

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How to end resentment towards your partner and have better sex

Do you hope for a better sex life? Are you no longer attracted to your partner? If yes, you may be carrying emotional resentment in your body. Energy Healing Educator & Program Developer Natalie Nelson uses her new Body Code expansion “Resonating Relationships: The Energy of Romance” to identify and heal the issues that are shutting you down and turning you off to your partner.

Is Resentment Making Your Partner Less Attractive to You?

True intimacy between partners takes trust and mutual feelings of safety. Holding onto past emotional traumas, however, can block us from being open to giving and receiving love. Some example sources of emotional trauma include:

  • Infidelity, whether from your current partner, a previous one or even from what you witnessed with your parents
  • Experiencing abuse, whether as a child or an adult
  • Witnessing abuse as a child or adult
  • Death of a partner or any other loved one

“These are just some of the traumas people experience that begin to shut us down when it comes to love,” according to Natalie. “And from there, resentment can build between partners… resentment over mismatched sexual desire, money issues, parenting disagreements and more.”

When she found herself in a failing marriage, Dr. Brad’s daughter Natalie Nelson—an integral part of this thriving family business—became inspired to create the “Resonating Relationships” to help those in challenging relationships to heal themselves so they could show up more fully and openly in their partnership.

“Resonating Relationships” is made up of two parts: an evaluation guide and a session guide.  During the evaluation portion, people answer a series of questions that pull personal details about their past and their experience of love and relationships into the conscious mind. In the session portion, the practitioner uses The Body Code (which includes The Emotion Code) to address and heal specific disharmony as it relates to relationship issues manifesting within the body.

“Having struggled in relationships myself and seeing a lot of people I know struggle in their relationships,” says Natalie, “I got really frustrated because I believe it shouldn’t be so difficult. So much of the reason why we struggle is because there are things going on inside of us that we’re just not aware of. We’re all just kind of feeling around, blindly trying to find some kind of balance in our relationships. With ‘Resonating Relationships,’ you can identify specific issues that you may never have honed in on before and bring them into consciousness. It taps into things that, for most people, have largely been unexplored.” For more information visit and EmotionCode.TV.

About Natalie Nelson

Energy Healing Educator & Program Developer Natalie Nelson has spent more than 15 years studying, experiencing and teaching the powerful healing that is possible through The Emotion Code and The Body Code, created by her father, Dr. Bradley Nelson. A key member of this highly successful family business, Natalie brought The Body Code and The Emotion Code teachings into every aspect of her life. When she found herself in a failing marriage, she became inspired to create a new Body Code expansion program to help those in challenging relationships—including herself—to heal. Whether you’re single, dating, in a committed relationship or married, Natalie’s new system, “Resonating Relationships: The Energy of Romance,” can affect powerful change that heals individuals and couples from the inside out. In addition to being a certified and experienced Body Code and Emotion Code practitioner, Natalie is the facilitator of the official Body Code mentorship program where she guides and supports more than 3,000 practitioners. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT

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TimerCaps: How do you curb opioid abuse? | Overdose epidemic

There has been plenty of chatter by the media these days but preventative solutions for the opioid crisis is one to pay close attention to. People need to be aware of the simple tools such as the TimerCap that help prevent, under/over dosing, household diversion and create positive long-term medication habits with medication in bottles they are dispensed in.

How can TimerCaps help under and over dosing of medication?

✔    Monitor of last dosage – Disoriented and cognitively impaired patients need a tool to know last dose and when it is safe to take another or resume.

✔    Managing medication in the bottles they are dispensed. Medication and labeling should be together for the highest level of patient safety.

    Lift Adherence (Taking medication as prescribed) – Proven to lift adherence by up to 33%

✔    Detection of household diversion –  Child Safety packaging does not address the at risk children from 6 – 16.

✔    Deterrent of unwanted openings  –   A greater likelihood of being caught reduces the attempts of diversion.

✔    Habituation for long-term adherence  – Per the CVS Study the first 60 days determines long-term adherence patterns. 

As doctors and pharmacies are being scrutinized, restrictions and unifying databases are being mandated, the main culprit is not being addressed. The patients that are mentally impaired by the opioids need tools for monitoring their last drug intake. What gets measured gets done, making the patient’s part of the solution from the beginning by giving them the right tools to be responsible with their drug intake. What we know is that patients disoriented on opioids in traditional packaging and forced to find external means of tracking are not working.

Cognitively impaired patients need automatic timers that count up since last opened to let patients and caregivers truly monitor usage to prevent unintended abuse, household diversion detection, and to know when it is safe again to use a motor vehicle.  Opioid needs to stay in containers they are dispensed in for most safety with all vital information such as: patient, medication name, pill descriptions, dosage, and side effects in case of an emergency.

Traditional dispensing in bottles with generic cap is analogues of giving a person an automobile without a speedometer. Sure they can read the posted speed signs but without a speedometer they have no way of knowing how fast or slow they are going so they can appropriately self-correct.  They can only guess or find out when pulled over by enforcement, this is what is happening to opioid patients they are already impaired and have no way to track their last usage.

The TimerCap is a cap with a built-in stopwatch, it resets every time you close the container and begins to count up to display time passed since last closed.  This means the cap is not competing with labeling instructions, foolproof as it starts and resets every time it opens. Bottomline: This is simple enough for anyone to use without instructions and inexpensive.

TimerCaps are inexpensive and have been proven to help patients take their medication as prescribed and is the perfect tool for opioid tracking and diversion detection.  This keep medication and labeling in the container  its dispensed in for most safety, keeping all vital information such as: patient, medication name, pill descriptions, dosage, side effects, warnings, prescribing doctor, pharmacy, and refill information.  This makes it simple for easy identification of medications and time of last dosage in case of emergency.

Watch Larry Twersky, the CEO of TimerCap LLC speak on this matter and explain why the TimerCap helps curb opioid abuse:

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Benefits of TimerCaps: Fighting Opioid Addiction | Opioid Epidemic

New Horizon TimerCap Assembly3

At the beginning of 2016, President Obama made a commitment to invest $1.1 billion to help address the prescription opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic but what is the status of the fight against opioid at the start of 2017?  Opioid and heroin addiction is destructive to the core of community wellness. The addiction destroys lives and tears apart families and communities alike. In 2014, more than 28,000 people died from opioid overdoses— nearly 900 died in Maryland. It is clear communities can no longer ignore this public health emergency. With additional government funding states could fund more prevention and treatment programs to stop this epidemic in its tracks.

In 2016 House Republicans joined with Democrats to pass several bills to address the opioid crisis, but none of these bills provided the essential funding that partners on the frontlines of this crisis need. More can be done and must be done. That is why the  Opioid and Heroin Abuse Crisis Investment Act was introduced to provide more than $1 billion in new federal resources to combat the causes and effects of the opioid epidemic, including $930 million to expand access to medication-assisted treatment in every state and $50 million to expand substance use treatment capacity. This epidemic has become a runaway train barreling through every family and every community in its path and the stakes are high.

July 2016, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) with sweeping bipartisan support.  This was an important and meaningful step in the nation’s efforts to address its prescription opioid and heroin public health crisis. The House of Representatives passed CARA with an overwhelming 407-5 vote.  The Senate followed suit with a near unanimous vote of 92-2.  The bill will fund grants for treatment expansion for opioid use disorder through recovery networks, strengthen state-based prescription drug monitoring programs, and increase the availability of opioid overdose reversal drugs.

Also there are provisions to provide services for pregnant and postpartum women and monitor access to treatment for veterans. The legislation also requires a task force to identify best practices for pain management and encourages new research on this topic. But the association and social workers must continue to ensure that funding is sustained for the activities outlined in CARA.  As The White House noted in its response to CARA’s passage, 78 Americans die every day from opioid overdose and states are in need of dedicated funding sources to provide adequate access to treatment and support services like the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What will it take to overcome the Opioid Epidemic?

The opioid epidemic is a major problem due to inadequate packaging because Medicare and payers are being short-sighted. Today, all CVS, Rite Aid and other major pharmacies have a preventive solution they are not getting paid to carry out because Medicare and payers refuse to pay for compliance packaging on opioids.  In other words the unwillingness to reimburse is causing, contributing and exacerbating the opioid epidemic unnecessarily.

Larry Twesky TimerCaps to fight opioid addiction

CEO of TimerCap LLC, Larry Twesky, leads a compliance packaging company that makes it possible for people to track their medications on the bottle that opioids are dispensed in while keeping vital labeling information. Their product is being sold in about 13,000 pharmacies around the country and doctors and the Surgeon General are not talking about it because Medicare doesn’t cover compliance packaging.

According to Persistence Market Research, the opioids market is estimated to account for $42 billion dollars by 2021 and the organization Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, states nearly 21 million Americans struggle with substance addictions.


Timer_Cap_Fight_Opioid_addiction.jpgEvery 19 minutes an American dies from an opioid or heroin overdose. The consequences of this abuse have been drastic as the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has quadrupled in the United States since 1999. One of the biggest causes of opioid addiction is that less than 50% of patients take their medications as directed, with the biggest cause of that being forgetfulness.


On-going solutions for fighting opioid

TimerCap, a California-based company is offering a solution to prevent opioid addiction. They offer a vial cap, sized to fit most pharmacy vials, with a built-in LCD timer, that automatically keeps track of the time passed. The vial cap is useful to help people remember when they last took their medication or also indicate that someone else wrongly opened the vial. The TimerCap is the compliance packaging that is needed to prevent opioid abuse and available at all CVS and Rite Aid locations. It is important that more people be reminded there are simple and inexpensive solutions to remember when they last took their medication, which would reduce opioid abuse. Learn more about TimerCap.

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How women can overcome the gender wage gap

Do you know women who work full-time earn .79 cents for every dollar a man makes? The gender wage gap debate is something economist long to resolve. In other words, a woman makes $39,621 dollars for a man that makes $50,383.To close a wage gap, we need more data on how the wage gap impacts women with different educational levels, different ages and work in different fields.

If you are a woman who doesn’t want to play the gender wage gap game, Fromgirltogirl encourages you to pursue occupations in science and technology versus business professions. More than less, women almost experience no pay gap in science and technology professions because those are self-directed occupations and offer more flexibility than a 9 to 5. In the business world, a woman has to either work a 9 to 5 or longer work shift. So for young women in college, pursue occupations in STEM ( Science, Technology, Education and Medicine). It will be worth the investment to get as much education in these fields in the long haul when you have to make hard choices on starting a family, managing family affairs and more later in life. Watch this video for more information:

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How to stop ghosts of Christmas past from ruining your holidays

The holiday season is a time people try to come together for joyful celebration with loved ones in a way that feels loving and positive for all. However, a recent study shows that well more than half —about 61%—anticipate arguments and contention during the holidays. Holistic physician, lecturer and author of the bestselling book, “The Emotion Code,” Dr. Bradley Nelson helps people to let go of unhelpful emotions from the past so they can enjoy the company of loved ones in the present.

Are the Ghosts of Christmas Past Ruining Your Holidays?

In the story “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past who takes Scrooge on a tour of the parts of his life that have led to him becoming the angry, miserly man he is today. No matter who you are, you have past events that color emotional reactions in the present. These unhealed, often hidden “trapped emotions” can ruin your chances of living a healthy, happy life.

What parts of your past have contributed to unhealthy present ways of being?

“Do you ever feel that you are struggling under the weight of something that you can’t quite put your finger on?” asks Dr. Nelson. “Perhaps your life is not turning out how you had hoped. Perhaps your attempts to form lasting relationships never seem to work out. You may wish that certain events in your past had never occurred but feel powerless to move beyond them. You may even have an uneasy feeling that your present is being held hostage by your past in some vague and indefinable way.”

  • Emotions you carry from upsetting things that you have experienced are your very own “Ghosts of Christmas Past.”
  • You can change your present moment by committing to a healthier, happier version of yourself. Those old “trapped emotions” can be released through Dr. Bradley Nelson’s Emotion Code.
  • Give yourself the promise of a better future by healing the past.


Dr. Bradley Nelson

About Dr. Bradley Nelson: Dr. Nelson has lectured internationally on the natural healing of chronic illness and successfully treated patients from across the US and Canada for more than 20 years. He has trained more than 2,000 practitioners worldwide on how to help people overcome unresolved anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness and other negative emotions and the physical symptoms associated them.

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A People’s Journey: Welcome to the National Museum of African American History & Culture

Some day if I’m blessed to see old age I can tell the youngins this: We went to see the @nmaahc opening ceremony and our first black President of the United States with his black First Lady @__flotus__ Michelle #Obama spoke at the dedication on September 24, 2016. And if I am able by then… We are going to that museum from top to bottom. The resilience in itself is a remarkable story. Shout out to @howard1867 students as well as the black men who took off of work for the million man march. If you can’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. #Freedom #Equality #apeoplesjourney #fg2g #blacklivesmatter #blackandproud #nmaahc #stopracism #stopseparatism #civilrights #humanrights #blackhistory #millionmanmarch #howarduniversity #hu #howard #blackfeminism #Roots

A photo posted by (@fromgirltogirl) on

Last Saturday, September 24, the National Museum of African American History & Culture ( NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. opened its doors to the public and Fromgirltogirl attend the opening ceremony. For those of you who did not get to see the museum first-hand, EarthCam is proud to have been selected to document the newest museum on the National Mall and released this time-lapse movie showcasing construction progress from May 2012 to September 2016. The NMAAHC is the Smithsonian Institute’s 19th museum and the HD imagery from the EarthCam construction camera highlights the beauty of the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup vision.

About the NMAAHC

The NMAAHC is a 400,000-square-foot museum with nearly 3,500 artifacts in its exhibition galleries, an education center, a reflecting pool at the south entry and many more unique features. The grand opening weekend included festivals, artistic performances and a special dedication ceremony where President Barack Obama cut the ribbon. You can watch President Obama’s speech below:

To celebrate the opening of this significant museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. with EarthCam’s time-lapse movie for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, watch the video below:

Video is “Courtesy of EarthCam”

Want to learn more? Check out this Sunday Morning edition with Quincy Jones:

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How to overcome Back To School Stress | Anxiety Prevention Guide for Families

Dr. Bradley Nelson back-to-school tips for overcoming stress and anxiety
Author and international lecturer in bio-energetic medicine and energy psychology, Dr. Bradley Nelson offers advice on how to overcome back-to-school stress.

For families across America, the back to school season can be very stressful. Some stress is associated  with the renewed pressure of academics while other forms of stress are tied with extracurricular activities and social situations. In particular children with learning disabilities have trouble overcoming back to school stress, but veteran holistic physician Dr. Bradley Nelson has great advice to help parents and children alike clear away emotional baggage to help them learn better, feel happier and reach their goals of having a successful school year experience.

Dr. Nelson specializes in helping people of all ages release “trapped emotions” – unresolved emotions from negative life experiences that can affect a person’s health, happiness and ability to learn. He and the thousands of healing practitioners he has trained worldwide frequently work with children diagnosed with Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and other conditions which can hinder learning and development. Parents searching for holistic ways to help their kids overcome such problems are finding success with The Body Code, a system Dr. Nelson developed to help kids without having to resort to medication.

“Learning disabilities can affect listening and speaking, reading, writing and spelling, reasoning, concentration and mathematics,” Dr. Nelson says. “Some common imbalances children have that contribute to learning disabilities include social and emotional problems, nutritional deficiencies and toxins from processed foods and environmental sources. All of these can be discovered and addressed with The Body Code.”

Dr. Nelson teaches parents how to use these methods to help not only kids diagnosed with learning disabilities and delays, but all children struggling with any kind of anxiety over school. For instance, releasing trapped emotions can help children shift out of a fear of starting kindergarten, let go of negative feelings around upsetting past events and become relaxed, confident and better able to learn.  As a holistic physician, Dr. Nelson also provides nutritional guidance for parents on how to eliminate processed and chemical-laden foods that may contribute to children’s learning and emotional problems. To learn more visit his website

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Complexities of auditing, polling, & voter behavior in election cycle

As we experience the election cycle many voters describe it as a contentious, confusing political environment where statistics hold key for trust, integrity and efficiency in the political cycle. To help you get a better grasp of this election cycle, the American Statistical Association (ASA) provides resources on hand to explain the complexities of auditing, polling, and voter behavior. Between accusations of irregularities during the primary  elections, concerns about disenfranchisement, voter intimidation tactics and fears of hacking into electronic voting machines, the presidential election campaign season has been a source of contention and confusion for the public, prognosticators and policymakers, alike. But statistics—the science of learning from data—can help support trust and transparency for voters, election officials and the process itself.

According to Jessica Uttts,president of the American Statistical Association (ASA), “Elections are an incredibly complex and powerful dynamic in American democracy, and voters deserve to know that the responsibility they take seriously proceeds with integrity. Whether it’s explaining differences between polling forecasts and Election Day results or how polls may be misinterpreted, statistics can help explain discrepancies and validate electoral processes and outcomes, thereby assuring greater levels of voter confidence in the entire system.” Right now the talk, rhetoric and attacks on the electoral process, critical distinctions about what might go wrong, why and who is responsible are often ignored.

Decades-long research shows that ‘voter fraud’ (when a person who is not eligible to vote impersonates a legitimate voter at the polling booth) is essentially nonexistent. Arlene Ash, professor and division chief of biostatistics and health services research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School says the “Electoral malpractice, however, is quite common, and can take place in many forms, such as misleading ballot designs, computer malfunctions and security breaches, long voting lines, misleading information about polling locations, poorly maintained voting lists and overly aggressive voter list purges.”

For example, claims of election fraud have long been part of the nation’s history, and so it’s possible that some may occur in present day. Philip Stark, professor of statistics and associate dean of mathematical and physical sciences at the University of California, Berkeley has said “Paperless voting technology, which cannot be audited or recounted meaningfully, is used in 25% of the country. Most jurisdictions that do have paper records, however, do not check the results against the paper trail adequately, if at all. We need better methods to make sure the integrity of elections.” That’s where election audits come into play.

One of the most effective methods for ensuring voter confidence in elections is to conduct post-election audits. Poorly marked ballots, computer glitches and voting system configuration errors can make machine vote counts diverge from voters’ intentions. By comparing hand counts of randomly selected ballots with machine tallies, statistics can find large sources of errors that can be targeted for future fixing and discern (from a smaller sample) whether a complete hand count would produce the same winners. In this way, election audits can both support integrity and save taxpayers money. Experts in the area of election audits include the following:

  • Arlene Ash, Professor and Division Chief of Biostatistics and Health Services Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
    In December of 2000, she testified in the absentee ballot fraud case in Martin County, Florida. Ash was instrumental in leading the ASA’s election auditing work and was head of the ASA’s Scientific and Public Affairs Subcommittee on Electoral Integrity.


  • Mark Lindeman, Political Scientist Who Studies Public Opinion and Elections
    He presently lectures at Columbia University in quantitative methods and led the recent revision of the multidisciplinary textbook Public Opinion. Lindeman has extensively studied popular controversies in election forensics, such as the argument that exit poll results show election fraud. An expert in the design of post-election vote tabulation audits, especially risk-limiting audits, he has published extensively about such audits (often in collaboration with Philip B. Stark) and has consulted pro bono with advocates and legislators in several states and the District of Columbia. He serves as chair of the Coordinating Committee of the Election Verification Network.


  • Walter R. Mebane Jr., Professor of Political Science and Statistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    His current focus is election forensics, which aims to develop statistical and computational tools for detecting anomalies and diagnosing fraud in election results. He has written papers on the 2000 presidential election, produced a report on the 2004 presidential election in Ohio for the Democratic National Committee and conducted analyses of election fraud in Russia and likely fraud in Iran’s 2009 election.


  • Philip B. Stark, Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley
    The originator of “risk-limiting audits,” he has worked with California and Colorado secretaries of state and helped conduct risk-limiting audits in nearly 20 counties. Stark testified about election integrity before the California legislature and at trial in a contested election. He now sits on the development team for the Travis County, Texas, STAR-Vote system, which combines auditability with end-to-end cryptographic verifiability.



When conducted scientifically, polls capture what a portion of the population thinks at a given time. However, poorly constructed polls—ones with large margins of error that contain biased questions or are not conducted on randomly selected samples—can be misleading. As poll results are often highly touted or quickly dismissed by campaigns and often cited by media, the importance of understanding their purpose, results and limitations cannot be overstated.

“There are many potential sources of error in electoral polling,” notes Rob Santos, chief methodologist at the Urban Institute. “The technical explanations, however, mask fundamental ones—things like social and technological changes that affect how the public consumes polls and how pollsters conduct them—that are driving inaccuracies.” Santos gives the following advice about polls: “Much like we do with stock tips or sports picks, we should consider the source before trusting a poll.” Experts in the area of polling include the following:

  • Rob Santos, Chief Methodologist at the Urban Institute
    Santos has more than 35 years of experience designing research and evaluation studies. His expertise includes qualitative and quantitative research design, sampling, survey operations and statistical analysis. He served as 2014 president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and is now vice president of the American Statistical Association (ASA). He is a fellow of the ASA and recipient of its prestigious Founders Award.


  • David Morganstein, Vice President and Statistical Staff Director at Westat
    He specializes in the design and application of surveys and systems of evaluation, quality control, statistical analysis and estimation. He has worked with more than 50 organizations around the world in the teaching and use of statistical methods for quality assurance and improvement. He served as president of the ASA in 2015.


  • Mack Shelley, Professor and Chair of the Department of Statistics at Iowa State University
    His research interests include public policy, program evaluation, American politics, electronic governing, social statistics, multivariate methods, time series and forecasting, linear models and survey research methods. He served as co-editor of the Policy Studies Journal and associate editor of the Journal of Information Technology and Politics.


About the American Statistical Association: The ASA is the world’s largest community of statisticians and the oldest continuously operating professional science society in the United States. Its members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to tell public policy and improve human welfare. For more information, please visit

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