About Secretary Gale
John A. Gale is the 26th Nebraska secretary of state. He was appointed by Governor Mike Johanns in December 2000 to fill a vacancy created with the resignation of Scott Moore. A Republican, Gale was elected to four-year terms in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Gale is committed to providing high-quality and convenient public service while operating a cost-efficient office. His goal is to make it easier for the public to access and deal with his office.
As secretary of state, Gale oversees the following areas: elections, business services, occupational licensing, state agency rules and regulations, records management, international relations and youth civics programs.
By law, he serves on numerous state boards. He serves as chairman of the Records Board, Real Estate Commission and Collection Agency Licensing Board, as well as serving on the Pardons Board, Board of State Canvassers, and Accountability and Disclosure Commission.
--He implemented major election improvements in Nebraska to meet the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act. Under his leadership, all Nebraska counties received new ballot tabulation equipment and switched to a computerized statewide voter registration system.
--He has promoted efforts to increase voter participation. With the help of political parties, media partners and county election officials, he achieved high voter turnout in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential election years. Gale has worked to expand mail-in balloting for special elections resulting in significant increases in voter participation. In 2015 he launched NEReg2Vote, Nebraska’s online voter registration system, allowing citizens to register by computer or mobile device.
--He has been involved in national election-reform efforts through his service on two advisory groups of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
--At his request, he was designated chief protocol officer for international relations by the Legislature. In this role, he has promoted commerce, educational and cultural exchanges between foreign nations and Nebraska. Gale currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Confucius Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; which was created through a partnership between UNL and Xi’an Jiatong University in Xi’an China.
--He was instrumental in getting the Legislature to overhaul and modernize state law dealing with notary publics.
--As secretary of state and chairman of the state Records Board, he has pushed for increased and improved online access to state government.
--He has championed efforts to provide civics education to the state’s youth. His goal is to encourage young people to become active citizens and lifelong voters.
Gale has been active in the National Association of Secretaries of State. He has served on its Executive Committee and is a past chairman of its Business Services and International Relations committees.
Gale was born on Oct. 23, 1940, in Omaha. A fifth-generation Nebraskan, Gale has close ties with different parts of the state. He grew up in Ogallala and Omaha and later lived in North Platte.
He is a graduate of Omaha North High School, received a B.A. degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and earned a law degree from the University of Chicago.
He practiced law in North Platte for 29 years before serving as secretary of state. His background also includes service as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Roman Hruska in Washington, D.C., and as an assistant U.S. attorney in Nebraska.
Gale serves on the boards of Cornhusker Boys State and the Confucius Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has previously served on the board for the NEBRASKAland Foundation and was member and elected chairman of the Sesquicentennial Commission 2014 – 2015.
While living in North Platte, he was active in the Sunrise Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, local and state bar associations, Boy Scouts, United Way and Great Plains Regional Medical Center. He has served in various positions in the Nebraska Republican Party, including chairman in 1986.
Gale’s family includes his wife, Carol; sons David of Bassett, Nebraska, and Steven of Laramie, Wyoming; daughter Elaine of Santa Barbara, California; and five grandchildren.