Re: Open Voting Hero Gone But Not Forgotten

From: Nancy Tobi <nancy_dot_tobi_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Apr 04 2009 - 18:00:39 CDT

Condolences Alan.

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 6:42 PM, Alan Dechert <dechert@gmail.com> wrote:

> I just sent this to our announcements list ...
> **********
> Dear Friends of Open Voting:
>
> It is with much sadness that I announce the passing of my great friend and
> colleague, Richard "Dick" Johnson. He died yesterday due to a kidney-liver
> infection. He was a very young-minded 67 years old. Dick was one of the
> leaders of the open voting movement. He will be sorely missed.
>
> Dick called me five years ago -- after he read about the OVC system demo we
> did April 1st, 2004. He was still with Oracle, where he had been a software
> architect for many years. He became an active participant in our discussion
> list and a valued collaborator.
>
> In 2005, the US GAO asked for OVC input, as part of their research for the
> report they produced that year. I asked Dick to lead a task force that
> would put together a report that would address the issues the GAO asked
> about. Our first conference call with the GAO had 15 participants,
> including Dick's task force and 4 key people at the GAO. As a result of
> Dick's excellent work and that of his team, our data and views were well
> represented in the report -- including a very prominent citation (pg 51).
> People in the federal government started to take the open voting idea
> seriously.
>
> After that, he said that he was planning to start a for-profit company --
> along with David Webber, one of his task force members -- that would
> deliver open voting systems to jurisdictions. I encouraged him to do so and
> suggest the name: Open Voting Solutions (OVS). They made excellent progress
> on an open source precinct based optical scan system and an election
> management system based on the OASIS Election Markup Language. Since all
> their software is also open source and compatible with OVC's work, today,
> OVC is getting close to being able to offer a complete open source voting
> system -- including the most advanced and best election management system
> ever created (of course, certification is still a large hurdle, but the
> technology is mainly done).
>
> In June of 2007, I encouraged Dick to write a letter to his designated
> contact at NY State Board of Elections to ask for a fee waiver for open
> source systems. It would be illegal for a vendor to lobby the Board, but I
> was able to discuss it with them because OVC is not a vendor.
>
> Dick discussed the idea in other venues and was quoted in the Village
> Voice, in November of 2007.
> http://www.voteraction.org/node/267
>
> Our proposal was adopted by the NY State Board of Elections in Feb of 2008.
> This was a great accomplishment we worked on together. It makes a certified
> open source voting system much more feasible and likely.
>
> Since Dick lived in New York, I did not have a chance to see him often in
> person, but we talked by phone frequently. I did get to have lunch with him
> when he was in California a couple of years ago. That day remains as one of
> the most memorable in my 8 years working on the open voting project. In
> person, I found him even more inspirational and enlightening. He had great
> insight with vast experience working with governments and computers. A
> former university professor (U of WA), he was full of ideas. I learned a
> lot from Professor Johnson, and his passing leaves a large void for me.
>
> David Webber set up a memorial page for him.
> http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/rcjohnson
>
> Alan Dechert
> http://openvoting.org
> reply with 'unsubscribe' in the subject to be removed from list
>
> _______________________________________________
> OVC-discuss mailing list
> OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
> http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
> By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the
> content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of
> copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly
> archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/
>

_______________________________________________
OVC-discuss mailing list
OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================
Received on Thu Apr 30 23:17:02 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Apr 30 2009 - 23:17:06 CDT