Re: Open Voting Hero Gone But Not Forgotten

From: Danny Swarzman <danny_at_stowlake_dot_com>
Date: Sat Apr 04 2009 - 20:35:41 CDT

I had many conversations with Dick and worked with him on the OVS
approach. I will carry on a part of the work he started.

There are only a handful of people who make the kind of commitment to
this movement as he did. Some of that special group are on this list.
I am grateful for the extraordinary efforts of such people. Thank you.

-Danny Swarzman

On Apr 4, 2009, at 4:04 PM, Brent Turner wrote:

> All our condolences to Mrs. Johnson and Dick's family-
>
> Dick was a great friend and mentor- he will be forever missed.
>
> The best way to honor him is to continuer the fight for open source
> systems.
>
> Brent Turner
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ovc-discuss-bounces+brent=trealestate.net@listman.sonic.net
> [mailto:ovc-discuss-bounces+brent=trealestate.net@listman.sonic.net]
> On
> Behalf Of Alan Dechert
> Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 3:43 PM
> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> Subject: [OVC-discuss] Open Voting Hero Gone But Not Forgotten
>
> 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
>
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Received on Thu Apr 30 23:17:02 2009

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