Tributes to John Gideon, RIP National Election Integrity Hero

I was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of John Gideon, co director of Voters Unite. John tirelessly sent out the Daily Voting News, along with commentary, 365 days a year beginning with late 2003. John worked non stop, he encouraged each of us in every state to fight, and said that just one person could make a difference. He would know – his efforts made all of the difference. We in North Carolina and other states who care about election transparency owe John a huge debt. We at NCCVV will honor John’s memory by continuing the work we started together long ago. There’s no words to express my gratitude to John for all he did or sadness for how much he will be missed, every day.

Posted here are excerpts from tributes to John Gideon by advocates from around the country. Click on names for full tributes : Ellen Theisen at Voters Unite, Brad Friedman of Brad Blog, Kim Alexander of, information scientist Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Congressman Rush Holt, Warren Stewart of Verified, Bob Fertik at, “Armed Liberal”, Mark Crispin Miller, and Howard Stanislevic of the E-Voter Education Project, and Luther Weeks of , Bo Lipari of NYVV, John Washburn, Rick Hasen of ElectionLawBlog,, Pokey Anderson – no link posted in full here, Rosemary Rodriguez EAC Chair – no link posted in full here, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen., Brad Friedman and Desi Doyen’s “Green News Report” (audio) tribute to John Gideon, Velvet Revolution, Joan Brunwasser of OpEdNews,Susan Pynchon of Florida Fair Elections Coalition – no link posted in full here, Lani Massey Brown from Ballots of, Jerry Adams Oregon Voter Rights Coalition , Kathy Jackson of Voting Matters Blog , Lowell Finley Deputy SoS of California – no link posted in full here, The Verified Voting Foundation, Voter, – no link posted in full here, Epluribus Media , Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Mark Halvorson Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota – no link posted in full here, Adele Eisner of Citizen’s overseeing Cuyahoga’s Board of Elections – no link posted in full here, Jacob Soboroff at Why Tuesday , Voice of the Voters – no link posted in full here, Center for Election Excellence, Candice Hoke Cleveland, Heleni Thayre Citizens for Election Integrity, MA – no link, posted in full, Jody Holder – no link, posted in full,
Ellen Theisen and Brad Friedman on John Gideon’s Passing at Talk Nation Radio , a tribute by John’s son, Rick Gideon at Remembering John Gideon, Kindra Muntz of Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE) & Co-Founder, Florida Voters Coalition -no link posted in full here ….

If you have a tribute to John that you wish to have posted, please email to joyce at (If possible, include a permalink to your tribute).

April 29, 2009. Celebrating the Life of John Gideon by Ellen Theisen
John Gideon, my co-director at VotersUnite since May of 2004, passed away last night, April 27, 2009. He is survived by his son, Rick, and his grandson.

This is a picture of John.

He fished for salmon in the Alaskan Pacific and shared his catch freely and generously with his friends. He fished for information in depth and shared what he found freely and generously with anyone who wanted or needed it.

Though one was his play and the other was his work, the two were merely different expressions of who he was as a man.

Outspoken and honorable, diligent and passionately committed to democracy, day after day after day after Daily Voting News, John Gideon was instrumental in shaping the direction of the election integrity movement.

It was an honor to know him and a privilege to have him as my friend and co-director.
Please read the beautiful eulogy written by John’s friend, Brad Friedman. If you didn’t know John, Brad’s post will help you understand the depth of John’s impact. If you did know John, you’ll rejoice in reading what you already know.
Here are some other pictures of John.

4/27/2009 In Memoriam: John Gideon, 1947 – 2009 Brad Friedman (BradBlog)
*note, visit the blog to see many comments honoring John. This euglogy is said to be the most complete and extensive so far. Because of space issues we are only posting an excerpt.**

Father, grandfather, husband, veteran, patriot, co-director of, democracy advocate, blogger, friend…

“I will choose to celebrate his life.”- Ellen Theisen, John Gideon’s co-director at on his passing
It was a very lonely time for advocates of democracy in the U.S. when John Gideon posted his first guest blog here in the dark days of October 2005, and when we began to carry his vital “Daily Voting News” on Election Day, one month later, in November of that same year
…John’s always-understated “Daily Voting News” — which he filed, often seven days a week, for well over five years — provided simple links to news of election reform, failure and success from around the nation, as culled from papers, blogs, press releases and official and academic reports around the country, and even the world. In so doing, he connected the seemingly disparate dots of local stories, and apparently anecdotal woes, into a cohesive tale of a nation struggling to regain footing on the pedestal on which it had once, and still hoped to stand….

April 28 The passing of an election integrity hero CalVoter Blog. Kim Alexander
This morning I learned that John Gideon passed away last night. The news has saddened many people, including me, who knew John and greatly value his contribution to election reform. He was a tireless champion of truth and relentless in his efforts to hold election officials accountable. Nearly every day for several years he published a free newsletter, “Daily Voting News”, which I and hundreds of other folks received, providing a compilation of important stories and developments in voting technology and elections…

Apr 28 The Passing of John Gideon Joseph Lorenzo Hall
Co-founder of VotersUnite! and good friend, John Gideon, died last night in Seattle after suddenly coming down with (what appears to have been) bacterial meningitis.
I haven’t seen an obituary yet, but when one is written, it will show that he spent his life in service to this country, with the last few years as a central pivot point in the election integrity movement. …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 28, 2009 Congressman Rush Holt
Contact: Zach Goldberg202-225-5801 (office)
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Rush Holt (NJ-12) today issued the following statement on the sudden passing of John Gideon, a long-standing leader in the electronic voting integrity movement.“I share the deep sense of sadness of everyone in the voting integrity community at the untimely loss of this giant of a man whom we all relied on for the most up-to-date information on issues related to electronic voting security through his Daily Voting News and the endless research and reports on the website. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be missed greatly.”

April 28, 2009. In Memoriam John Gideon (1947-2009) By Warren Stewart, Legislative Policy Director, Verified Voting posted at Vote Trust USA
The election reform community was shocked and saddened today by the news of John Gideon’s sudden and untimely passing. John was a mountain of a man and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him are stronger as a result. John’s dedication to the cause of honest, fair, and transparent elections was unparalleled. When I first met John early in 2005, he had already been collecting his “Daily Voting News” for a couple years. This daily news clipping service that gathered voting related news stories from across the country was a labor of love and dedication that served as an essential tool in the struggle for election reform….

April 28, 2009 John Gideon, RIP Bob Fertik
Voting rights leader John Gideon died Monday from a sudden onslaught of bacterial meningitis. Brad Friedman writes a fitting memorial:
He was 62, and a Vietnam veteran who never stopped fighting for his fellow veterans and in service of our country. He is survived by his son Rick and young grandson Collin, and a life-long legacy of fighting in defense of his nation, and for all that it stands for. He has left that legacy behind as a gift — and challenge — for us all. …

April 28, 2009 John Gideon, Voting Integrity Advocate: 1947 – 2009
By Armed Liberal
One of the early sources I looked to as I started educating myself on issues around voting was; it was a site that provided a wealth of information that helped me form my opinion that our voting processes were deeply flawed. One of the driving forces behind that site was John Gideon, who died yesterday of meningitis.
…People like John – amateurs who transform their passion into expertise and action – are the reason we should remain optimistic about the state of our Republic….

April 28, 2009 A tribute to John Gideon Posted by mcm
Mission: To encourage citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracyPosted Tue, 04/28/2009 – 16:55 by luaptifer
John Gideon, 1947 – 2009
It’s a sad moment for advocates of participatory democracy and for all who believe that their vote should count, if it doesn’t already.
Vietnam vet John Gideon died last night after 62 years. I hope that he rests peacefully and satisfied with the work he’s done….

April 28, 2009 Remembering John Gideon (1947-2009) Howard Stanislevic at 4:15 PM
John Gideon, a Co-Director of VotersUnite and Editor and Publisher of Daily Voting News passed away in a Seattle hospital last night after a short bout with bacterial meningitis.

John’s absence is so keenly felt that it already feels like an eternity has passed since getting this awful news. The election integrity community is devastated by this loss and many have been posting their thoughts in various places on the Internet. There is no central repository for them at this time (because there is no Daily Voting News) but here are a few of my thoughts about the man I knew and respected:

John gave voices to the voiceless. His featured articles on Daily Voting News called attention to election integrity issues that would otherwise have been under-reported.Who will report them now?

John was a man of courage. Never have I seen him take a position for the sake of political correctness or to appease special interests. He would have made a great New Yorker!….
…I hope John is not irreplaceable. But I have my doubts about that.He was a rare breed….

April 28, 2009 John Gideon, 1947-2009 By Luther Weeks Connecticut
Voting integrity has lost a great friend, John Gideon. John had a huge impact and leaves us all with a large gap to fill.
John was the co-founder of and the producer of the Daily Voting News. John scanned the news daily to provide us all with news from all corners of the Nation and Globe. We found many of the stories relevant to Connecticut at the Daily Voting News. They frequently became the basis of some of our posts. We benefited from his insight and correspondence. John also kindly ran many of our posts. I met John twice and we corresponded frequently. I last saw him three weeks ago when he served as a local host of a conference in Seattle, as always, warm, friendly, and full of life, a friend to everyone….

April 28, 2009 For John Bo Lipari
This morning I woke to the impossible news that my friend John Gideon was gone. Somehow, a big, vibrant man I had seen just a few weeks ago, would no longer be there; a fisherman who went out each and every day to bring in a daily catch of information that fed the many who depended on him would not be returning with the evening tide.

I first met John about 6 years ago when the nascent Election Integrity movement was just a couple of handfuls of people around the country beginning to connect via email. I’ve been trying hard to remember what we first talked about, and exactly how we hooked up, but try as I might the details are lost in time. Over the years as the network grew, we emailed, talked, but met in person only four times. In this virtual community of ours, this is the way of things – lots of communication, very little face time….

…John was one of those rarest of persons who believe that if we are going to get democracy right, we’ve got to get elections right, and if we’re going to get elections right, someone is going to have to roll up their sleeves and pitch in every single day and do the grunt work. John got up every single day and did the grunt work….

April 29, 2009 In Memorium – John Gideon John Washburn
I was stuck with the news that one of my friends, John Gideon, had died today. Well, yesterday, since it has taken me until after midnight to compose my thoughts on the passing of this great man.

…I have benefited greatly from his sage advice, his affectation for technical incompetence, his stiff-necked inspiration, but mostly from his good humor.

More than once he reminded me that Liberty in general and election integrity in particular is a day to day swim against a sometimes stiff current. His humor and optimism combined with his diligence and persistence is/was an inspiration to me an others.

My world, our world, is smaller and poorer place for his absence. I will remember and cherish our friendship until the day I am called home. Good bye, My Friend. Truly, may you now rest in peace where the yoke is easy and the burdens are light….

Good bye, My Friend. Truly, may you now rest in peace where the yoke is easy and the burdens are light.

April 28, 2009 Very Sad News: John Gideon has Died Rick Hasen ElectionLawBlog
Voters’ rights advocate John Gideon has died after a sudden illness. The details are here. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very sad time.

April 28, 2009. John Gideon: 1947-2009 – Loss of a giant voice in election integrity
SOURCE: BlackBoxVoting.ORG
…Gideon was consistently intellectually honest, demonstrating the ability to consider new ideas and rethink old ways, whether or not it was popular. Once he latched onto key concepts for election transparency, he held onto them with the stubbornness and backbone required of great patriots.

Sometimes you can’t replace important voices in a civil rights movement. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to match John’s unique voice. I do have confidence, however, that his vast and effective communications reach developed many new voices, and that together the individuals John Gideon inspired will at least help to fill the hole we’re left with in our hearts, and in our fight to regain self-government….

April 29, 2009 John Gideon RIP. Pokie Anderson, the Monitor Radio Show.
This happened so fast — hospitalized on Sunday, gone by Monday evening — I have emotional whiplash. I cannot really fathom a world, or an election integrity world, without steady John.

I introduced him as “Mr. Encyclopedia” when I had him on my radio show — a person who read a dozen, two dozen, three dozen — who can count? — articles on elections EVERY DAY for years. And could recall the important ones, and who knew how to connect the dots across states.

John befriended or annoyed election officials, repeatedly, persistently, with those damn things called facts, and even got some to pay attention.

John epitomizes the unsung hero. If we ever get our country back, truly back, it will be because of thousands of people like John, each picking something to do and doing it well, unphased by obstacles.

His loss leaves a gaping hole in our movement, and our hearts.
Pokey Anderson co-host, The Monitor radio show

April 29, 2009 John Gideon, EAC Commissioner Rosemary Rodriguez

I am so sad to learn that John Gideon has left us. John was the voice
of the voter. He succeeded in educating us about the need to keep
integrity and transparency at the forefront of elections–at both the
policy and operational levels.

I know, too, that he was passionate about military and Veteran voters,
and was offended, as we all should be, about the difficulty they have in
accessing their right to vote.

There is a big gaping hole in the election community today and I’m not
just referring to John’s size, but to the effect of his work. He will
be missed.

Rosemary Rodriguez


April 29th, 2009 CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen on the Passing of John Gideon
posted at Brad Friedman’s blog.

‘His strong voice will be echoed in the continued work of thousands of others’

We here at the Secretary of State’s office send our deep sympathies for the sudden loss of John.

In case you are collecting special thoughts or developing a public message board, Secretary Bowen wanted to send along this contribution:

John Gideon was a tireless advocate who contributed greatly to the election integrity movement. President John Kennedy noted that “true democracy… will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor, and ultimately recognize right.” John Gideon was courageously devoted to his democracy, and his strong voice will be echoed in the continued work of thousands of others. My deepest condolences go out to John’s family and his entire circle of friends.

Debra Bowen California Secretary of State.

For John… (audio) ‘Green News Report’ 4/28/09
Brad Friedman and Desi Doyen’s “Green News Report” (audio) tribute to John Gideon
PLUS: A tribute to John Gideon…
(John Gideon was an environmentalist also)

4/28/09: Remembering Our Colleague And Friend John Gideon Velvet Revolution
…We first met John five years ago in Washington DC when he attended an election reform conference. He was an impressive and committed activist who wanted to “get it right.”
…John has been involved with most of our key election integrity campaigns, many of them originating with his ideas. He has pulled weight where it counted, largely in the background, and his wisdom and advice have been invaluable. John will be sorely missed and his passing shrinks the pool of leaders in this election integrity field. It will be impossible to fill his shoes, but we now pledge to continue his work and his vision.

April 28, 2009 In Memoriam: John Gideon, 1947 – 2009 Submitted by Joan Brunwasser OpEdNews

I am awed by the challenge, and mission, that John has left behind for me, and for all of us.Until then,I hope you’ll join me in remembering by carrying his torch, his challenge and his mission wherever, and however, you can…as if the future of this nation depended on it.Because I truly believe that it does. Thank you for everything, John. You will be missed, my friend, more than you will ever know…


Tribute to John Gideon, 1947-2009 Susan Pynchon, Florida Fair Elections Coalition

John Gideon was a giant of a man, both physically and in the strength of his spirit and dedication to election integrity and voting rights. It’s amazing how one man touched so many lives for the good.

As did many others, I considered John to be my friend and my mentor. He always had time to listen and to talk; he always seemed to have the bit of knowledge I was missing on a particular subject; and he was always supportive. The first grant that our fledgling organization ever received came from John and Ellen Theisen through VotersUnite, which scarcely had funding itself. When our final report on the 2006 Sarasota debacle was shunned by some of the “experts,” John was a staunch supporter. When my candidacy for supervisor of elections was ignored or criticized by many in the election integrity world, John sent a personal check for $500 to my campaign — he understood that, for me, this was an extension of my activism and the thing I had to do to try to correct the wrongs I had witnessed locally. When I misunderstood or misstated anything, John never attacked but would gently state the facts, as he also did for others. Often, when I had a question, I would pick up the phone to call John for the answer I knew would be right. And every day, the Daily Voting News arrived like a supportive friend, containing not only a wealth of election-related articles but also John’s lively and informed comments, as irreplaceable as John himself.

I depended on John not only for his factual knowledge but for his opinions on so many subjects. I admired his humility, his tenacity and his courage — the way he never sought the limelight but was never afraid to speak truth to power — and keep on speaking it. I respected him for his encyclopedic mind and his willingness to share his knowledge without ever sounding superior. I felt humbled by his reliability and his willingness, as others have said, to do the “grunt” work without complaint.

I am very very sad at losing this great man. I’m sad for his family. I’m sad for Ellen Theisen. I’m sad for the entire election integrity movement, which has lost a wise and powerful voice. And I’m sad for myself. I miss knowing you are there, John. I will never forget you. Rest in peace.

Susan Pynchon
Florida Fair Elections Coalition


In Memory of John Gideon, 1947 – 2009 Lani Brown A Margin of Error: Ballots of Straw

John Gideon, co-director of Voters Unite! and author of the Daily Voting News passed away last night in Seattle leaving a void in the voting integrity world that may never be filled. Indeed, the world has lost a true hero, a man of unparalleled integrity. On a more personal level, one only has to shuffle through a few of my articles to know the importance to me of information provided by John and his co-director Ellen Theisen on Voters Unite!

Last year during a particularly rough patch, John said if it got any worse he just might run away to Belize. I’d like to remember him there. Sailing off toward the setting sun with fair-weather breezes gently guiding him along his way.

Please see Brad Friedman’s tribute In Memoriam: John Gideon, 1947 – 2009: Father, grandfather, husband, veteran, patriot, co-director of, democracy advocate, blogger, friend…Lani Massey Brown A Margin of Error: Ballots of Straw

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Tribute to John Gideon. Jerry Adams, Oregon Voter Rights Coalition.

One of John’s legacies has been to co-lead in providing opportunities for civil dialogue among diverse opinion leaders within the field of election integrity.

The opportunities have been a valuable contribution to the EI field. John’s dedication through his news work has provided an additional legacy.
I am one of those who have benefited in this arena and would like to acknowledge my gratitude. When a small band of us decided to put on a national conference on EI in Portland a few years back, John gave generously of his time to help make it a success.

John is one of the giants in our field; he will be sorely missed.
Jerry Adams Oregon Voter Rights Coalition

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04.29.09 In Memoriam John Gideon 1947-2009 Voting Matters Blog

In a gentle way you can shake the world.
– Mahatma Gandhi

The election integrity community was shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely passing of John Gideon, a gentle yet passionately committed giant who devoted himself to the mission which is posted at the top of the website: “to encourage citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracy.”

Mahatma Gandhi believed that we must be the change we want to see in the world. This was well demonstrated when he helped India gain its independence. Gandhi was a revolutionary man, but he accomplished India’s emergence as a nation without starting a revolution. In fact, he advocated no violence. One of the most powerful countries in the world yielded to the commitment of one man and the dream of millions.

In his own way John Gideon took up the Gandhi’s prescription for changing the world without starting a revolution. He decided to be the change he wanted to see. John’s cause was election integrity and he followed Theodore Roosevelt’s prescription for how to go about it: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are….Without being a revolutionary, John helped cause a sea change in U.S. elections…..

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Tribute to John Gideon by Lowell Finley. California Deputy Secretary of State.

John Gideon lent quiet assistance many times during the years I worked on election integrity issues as a private citizen. I often called upon his extensive knowledge for answers to questions about specific voting systems and problems that arose in their use across the country. He usually had the answer immediately. If not, he would call back soon with the needed information. John also contacted Voter Action when he came across information he thought might be of particular value. These behind-the-scenes contributions played a very important role in Voter Action’s litigation efforts. John did the same for many individuals and organizations, all while putting together the indispensable Daily Voting News.

John continued to be a positive influence when I became a state elections official. I learned, sometimes painfully, what it was like to be on the receiving end of John’s demands for accountability and transparency in the administration of elections.

John Gideon helped the election integrity movement keep rolling forward, like a hub from which many spokes radiated. He was constant, he was strong, he was fair to all and he had the courage of his convictions. I hope it is of some comfort to John’s family in their time of loss to know how much he meant to so many people, and how dearly we will miss him.

Lowell Finley
Sacramento, California

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In Memoriam: John Gideon by the Verified Voting Foundation

…His was a labor of love and dedication that served as an essential tool in the struggle for election reform. Retired from the Navy, John was dogged in his refusal of any compensation for his work. Throughout our work together, John was steadfast in his support of local grassroots efforts and a consistent champion of integrity and transparency. A disabled Vietnam veteran, John was also deeply concerned about issues affecting his brothers and sisters in the armed services and brought the same passion and dedication to those issues that he did to preserving the integrity of elections.

Thomas Jefferson wrote “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” No one better embodied these words than John Gideon.

# # #
Our Friend John Gideon
We at Voter Action are deeply saddened by the news of John Gideon’s sudden passing last night, April 27th, 2009. John, co-founder of, was a tireless advocate and model of courage in the fight for election integrity in the United States. He will be incredibly missed. Brad Friedman of, where John was a frequent contributor, has posted a moving tribute to our friend and colleague which can be found, here.

John’s spirit and work will live on in all of us in the democracy movement.

Voter Action recommends that contributions to honor John’s work be made to via this link:

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April 30, 2009 I. In Focus This Week
Director’s Note: John Gideon 1947-2009 By
Doug Chapin Electionline

The election community lost one of its most dedicated and persistent voices with the sudden death of John Gideon earlier this week at age 62. John’s “Daily Voting News” e-mail newsletter – which hit my PDA with impressive regularity right about 7pm Eastern every weekday and Sunday – was a thorough look at coverage of voting technology issues across the nation.

Every day’s edition was full of news coverage laced with a heavy dose of John’s fierce commentary and eager demands for vigilance and/or change in the technology that Americans use to cast ballots. At and Pew alike, we have always considered DVN a valuable resource for our own coverage of election issues across the country.

Indeed, I often referred journalists to John for comment both because I knew he had an opinion and because he would have no hesitation in sharing it on the record in blunt, forceful, quotable language – as he did with me regularly when he felt I wasn’t paying sufficient attention.

The word amateur gets a bad rap in our current language; in particular, current usage suggests that not being paid (i.e not being a professional) makes one unprofessional and thus implies lower quality or reliability of the work. The truth is that the word amateur is derived from the French and Latin words for “love”, suggesting that an amateur is someone who engages in a pursuit simply because they love and believe in it.

John Gideon’s devotion to the issue of voting technology – and his dedication to assembling and delivering DVN almost every day without fail – made him an amateur in the very best sense of the word. His skilled contributions to the field of election reform are significant and will be sorely missed – by me and many others, as this tribute page to John attests. On behalf of all of us here, I extend my sympathies to his family and friends at this sad and sudden loss.

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Mission: To encourage citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracy
Posted Tue, 04/28/2009 – 08:55 by luaptifer Epluribus Media
John Gideon, 1947 – 2009

…It’s a sad moment for advocates of participatory democracy and for all who believe that their vote should count, if it doesn’t already.
…That’s because, in the years of publishing “Daily Voting News,” I recognized the voice of a man who dedicated his best efforts to doing what he had to do, only because it was the necessary and right thing to do….

…I didn’t know him personally, but I knew John Gideon. He was the kind of person that I always hope to meet face to face, as a tireless soul who did what he felt must be done, regardless of whether or not we ever said to him, “Great job!”

Great job, John.

His devotion will be missed. May he rest in peace.

# # #

5/1/2009 OH Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner on John Gideon posted at BradBlog
‘Our nation has lost a true hero of democracy…I salute his courage for asking the tough questions’
PLUS: Activist turned CA Dep. SoS Lowell Finley offers his unique perspective as well…
Condolences, and a very moving statement, were sent to me this morning on the loss of John Gideon, from OH Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner via her Director of Communications, Patrick Gallaway:

…Message from Ohio Secretary of State Jenifer Brunner on the passing of John Gideon:
“Our nation has lost a true hero of democracy with the passing of John Gideon. John will be remembered and honored for his skills to keep so many people engaged in the elections process. His ability to gather, relay and assess elections information from across the country was simply amazing and through his organization of Voters Unite kept so many informed on the hot-button issues that at times truly drive our work to provide elections for all Americans that are free, fair, open and honest….

John will also be remembered for his dedication to veteran voters and I honor him for his service to our country in one of the most contentious of wars – Vietnam. Thank you John for your patriotism, support of an elections system that treated all as equals and your efforts to help voters from across the country. I do hope your valued work will live on, you will be missed.”

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Remembering John Gideon, a hero for democracy:It was great to see John recently at a conference in Seattle. John was so proud and happy to welcome everyone to Washington!I am so appreciative of all the great work that John and Ellen have produced with Voters Unite. We’ve used their materials many times. I have distributed at least 100 copies of Myth Busters. As others, I am especially grateful for John putting out the Daily Voting News – 7 days a week!

Several times I sent have him news reports, especially during the Minnesota recount, but it was rare that he didn’t already have what I sent him. I am also grateful that he provided a link to our MN Recount blog on the VotersUnite homepage. I was intrigued when I learned from John how Oklahoma kicked out the voting machine vendors many years ago. A great example for other states and a great example of the Voters Unite motto – “To encourage citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracy.”

Thanks John for your passion, your tenacity and your outspoken commitment to improving our election system. You will be deeply missed.

Mark Halvorson
Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota

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In Memoriam: John Gideon, 1947 – 2009. Adele Eisner of “Citizen’s overseeing Cuyahoga’s Board of Elections”
Never for self, always for all; never to hoard, always to share and connect;always in integrity when standing firmly in and for the light of the integrityof who we are capable of being, and must become.
A life truly well lived.
I will be among the many who miss him… Adele

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John Gideon, Election Reformer Was 62. Why Tuesday. Jacob Soboroff
…The last time I received my ‘Daily Voting News’ from John Gideon was April 23rd. John, a friend of Why Tuesday? who Barnett and I met at the Claim Democracy election reform conference in Washington D.C., passed away this week after a sudden illness.

…His updates about the world of elections and election reform frequently made it onto this blog, and his dedication to making sure the United States voting system was the best it could be rubbed off on all of us here.

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In Memoriam: John Gideon, 1947-2009 Voice of the Voters and Coalition for Voting Integrity
The country has lost a true hero and we have lost a true friend
and irreplaceable contributor to the Voice of the Voters.
Our hearts go out to Ellen Theisen, his co-director at;
John’s son and grandson; and
all who cherished this great man.

# # #
Remembering John Gideon’s Generosity to Ohio and the Nation –Center for Election Excellence, Candice Hoke, Cleveland

The loss of John Gideon is incalculable. John Gideon was a stalwart friend of Ohio and all who seek transparency, accountability, fair access, and accuracy in elections.
John argued that our American birthright was slipping away by our ceding control over elections to private companies, permitting them to conduct elections and produce election results not subject to independent checks and public accountability.

John was also a friend to all whose voting rights were potentially injured by unreliable voting equipment. After Cuyahoga County, Ohio sustained a notorious election debacle when transitioning to e-voting, the Cuyahoga Election Review Panel (CERP) was charged to investigate the causes of all election problems and to recommend remedies. materials helped us learn about similar problems elsewhere. This web-based relationship matured into an ongoing professional relationship when the Public Monitor Project (a part of the Center for Election Integrity at Cleveland State University) began its work in August 2006.

…John assisted election officials in avoiding overpriced voting equipment that often failed in recording and counting votes accurately. He did not blame the officials but the federal government’s certification testing that allowed defective voting and voter registration equipment to be marketed and purchased with our tax dollars. John was essentially a “disgruntled citizen” who tirelessly sought to improve his nation’s government….

…Through VotersUnite.Org and Daily Voting News, John facilitated the work of citizens, advocacy organizations, election officials, academics, and policymakers who sought to achieve fair, honest elections.

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John Gideon: An example to everyone Heleni Thayre Citizens for Election Integrity, MA

I never met or even spoke to John Gideon and know him only through my friends in the Election Integrity movement and from the Daily Voting News. However I believe he provides a most important lesson to all Americans.

Over and over I hear people say when I tell them about my concerns and our election systems: “There is nothing I can do about it.”

What a distressing point of view. Sometimes I can see them turn away and and can almost see them close their ears.

And it is so untrue. John Gideon is the proof of that in spades. Taking a simple concept, following it with dogged commitment and intelligently expanding its potential, John’s work has greatly enhanced the efficacy of the work of the entire Election Integrity movement.
The information he provided daily was raw data for the work of hundreds, maybe thousands, of people.

The personal connections he established with election officials and legislators created a conduit of information to them that was miraculous in its reach. Over time they trusted him and this created a respect for our work and our message.
But above all John exemplified what one dedicated and caring person can do to change this world.
Never, never let it be said that one person cannot make a difference for the better. That simply is not true. We know it. I hope is that more and more people will come to know this too.

Heleni Thayre
Citizens for Election Integrity, MA

# # #

John Gideon, a Hero. by Joseph Holder

For the last several years John Gideon dedicated his life, efforts, and values to the issue of restoring the public’s confidence in our electoral process. He did so with dedication, integrity, respect, self-sacrifice, and with a moral compass that reflects a man that truly encompasses the acts and values required of a hero.

As humans we have the capacity of appreciation, a higher cognitive ability to evaluate and compare. But appreciation is more than just a rational evaluation; it also involves our emotional recognition of values personified. It is difficult to put into words, and words often fail to adequately express our thoughts and feelings towards others. My opportunity to interact with John over the last several years has left me with a great appreciation of him as a person.
It has been pointed out many times that we cannot feel great joy unless we have felt great sadness. To walk among the emerging new life of spring is much more pleasant because of the cold and emptiness of the winter past. Our capacity to appreciate particular humans is because of those times we have been sorely disappointed with others. It is that stark contrast that so magnifies our appreciation when we have the opportunity to be involved with someone like John.

Unfortunately the term hero has been trivialized from being used with so little discrimination. I use that term very sparingly, because I want it to adequately express my recognition and appreciation for when someone is a true hero. To me a hero is someone who is recognized for courage, self-sacrifice, and going beyond the normal expectations and responsibilities of life. To do so requires that person to have ethics, values, and a sense of responsibility towards others that supersedes their own interests.

Many of us have been in this endeavor long enough that we are starting to see the passing of other heroes that have sacrificed much in the name of election reform. It behooves us to express our appreciation and recognition of others’ efforts in this reform movement, especially while they are still alive. The dedication and sacrifice required for this largely voluntary effort is difficult to sustain, and little words of encouragement and appreciation can mean a lot. I know that John appreciated such efforts, and was quick himself to do likewise.

This outpouring of appreciation from those he was in contact with, from all over the country, including fellow activist and election officials, is testament to how he treated others. I hope his family is given some comfort by this nationwide recognition of his efforts and integrity. The world is a better place because he lived. John Gideon was a true hero, and will be sorely missed.
With respect, appreciation, and thanks,

Jody Holder

# # #

Ellen Theisen and Brad Friedman on John Gideon’s Passing
Talk Nation Radio for May 6, 2009by Dori Smith30 minutes, audio

# # #
Remembering John Gideon By Rick Gideon, son.

Rick has posted a page where you can make comments and sign up to be notified of the date/time of the memorial to John. He plans to have a simultaneous physical/virtual memorial sometime in June…

# # #

Very Sad News — RIP John Gideon 1947-2009. Kindra Muntz -Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE) & Co-Founder, Florida Voters Coalition

What a shock and a sadness to learn of the death of John Gideon.
He has been a friend to us all, to every person who fights for election integrity in this country, and to millions of unnamed voters who have benefited from his work and his dedication.

The greatest tribute we could offer is to continue his work and ours and help his mission become a reality:

“to encourage citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracy”.

Brad, thank you for your eloquent tribute to John, your friendship with him, and for your never-ending dedication to the cause of democracy in this country. I grieve with you and Ellen and all who loved him.


And here is Kindra’s extended Memorial Day Tribute to John:

In Memoriam, John Gideon (1947-2009)

On Memorial Day I am thinking again of John Gideon, and his service to his country both in Viet Nam and in his work for voting integrity. I am grateful that the Daily Voting News is being continued by Ellen Theisen, John Washburn and Dave Klein, and that long-term plans for this important work are being formulated.

I met John at Lobby Days events in Washington, D.C. sponsored by and VoteTrustUSA. John was a strong and focused man, resolved to share the information the public needs to understand what is happening to elections in America.

As co-founder of and publisher of the Daily Voting News, John’s contributions were significant. John knew the vital service he could provide, and was dedicated to his work. Day after day he combed news sources around the country and the world to capture the voting news that shapes our nation. Developments were sometimes encouraging, sometimes not, but the perspective his readers gained was invaluable.

Democracy takes work. It will not survive on its own. It is quite clear that those in power want to stay in power, sometimes by whatever means possible. If they win by suppressing or manipulating the vote, they care less about voters and more about special interests who fund their campaigns. It is up to citizens to fight for our voting rights, for clean elections and transparency in the process, and for accurate counting of votes. For democracy to succeed, we must elect our leaders, not have the leaders choose us.

Thomas Jefferson said “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. That is apparent every day.

Thank you, John, for all you did to lead us toward “citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracy.” You were a teacher, an inspiration, and a true public servant. I miss you greatly, and wish you peace.

Kindra Muntz
Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections
Co-Founder, Florida Voters Coalition


Donations to make it possible for VotersUnite to continue John’s work can be made here.

Joyce McCloy
Director, NC Coalition for Verified Voting

3 thoughts on “Tributes to John Gideon, RIP National Election Integrity Hero”

  1. Joyce – Thank you so much for compiling these. You’ve performed a great service, and a great honor to John’s memory. I know that his grandson will be awed and inspired to one day read this page, and discover what a giant his grandather really was.

    Thank you.


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