One of the nation's leading election integrity watchdogs, John Gideon, 62, passed away Monday April 27. Gideon was editor of the very widely distributed "Daily Voting News," featured on Bradblog. Together with Ellen Theisen, he co-founded the prominent election integrity Web site In the early days of Black Box Voting, John Gideon played an important role by corresponding with each and every new member in our forums. He also helped assist when it was a fledgling organization.

He succumbed rather suddenly to bacterial meningitis. He passed away with his family by his side.

John Gideon earned a reputation for painstaking accuracy. He developed a breadth of knowledge about certification processes and all major voting machines. Yet more impressive (for some of us middle-aged folk), he had an amazing ability to remember details whenever needed, synthesizing knowledge from thousands of articles, research papers and visits.

Always courteous, he was respected by election officials, secretaries of state, voting rights attorneys, and the often-raucous grass roots election reform community. 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.

We know many of you knew John and his outstanding work. You may post your own remembrances and comments here:

Rest in peace, democracy's friend John Gideon.