Summary of the Thielman v Fagan Lawsuit

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                                          Marc Thielman                                       Stephen Joncus

Fight for Fair Elections

December 16th is the deadline for County Commissioners to choose to represent their constituents concerned about election integrity by responding to a lawsuit.   The suit names the Defendants as the Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan in her official capacity, and the twelve Oregon Counties of Clackamas, Washington, Multnomah, Lane, Linn, Marion, Jackson, Deschutes, Yamhill, Douglas, Klamath and Coos. 


Commissioners of Defendant Counties must respond to the lawsuit in one of two ways; with an “Answer” that will allow the suit to go forward, or with a “Motion to Dismiss” that allows the judge to dismiss any particular county from the suit.  The “Answer” option would give Election Integrity proponents an opportunity to prove that there are serious problems with the election system within Oregon. 

The lawsuit, Thielman v. Fagan, was started by Marc Thielman, an Oregon gubernatorial candidate in the 2022 primary election.  Filed by Stephen J. Joncus, attorney for Plaintiffs, the suit can be viewed online at the Battleground Oregon website.  Other high profile Plaintiffs are Ben Edtl, Janice Dysinger, Don Powers and Senator Dennis Linthicum.  

Now a class-action, disenfranchised Oregon residents can join the lawsuit by requesting and filling out a Declaration Form through this contact link.  The Plaintiffs are not asking for money other than for legal fees and expenses, but are asking the court to declare a number of election practices and laws as unconstitutional.

The lawsuit states that: “…the very agents of the state and county governments that swear an oath to uphold the United States Constitution have encumbered, disrupted, obstructed, and out-right denied access of the people to public records, refused to investigate findings from election canvassers, and impuned the reputation of election integrity minded citizens.“

The complaint classifies a public election conducted using any model of an electronic voting system to cast or tabulate votes as unconstitutional.  The Oregon vote-by-mail system and laws passed by legislature, such as the Oregon 2021 Legislative Session House Bills 2681 and 3291 are also considered unconstitutional.  


House Bill 2681 prohibits removing registered voters from the voter roll for not voting for any period of time.  This practice has inflated Oregon voter rolls.  Currently, there are more registered voters in Oregon than there are people of legal voting age. The suit contends; ”This is a law designed to make election cheating easier by creating a huge reservoir of officially sanctioned phantom voters .”

House Bill 3291 permits the counting of ballots received by mail up to seven days after an election. Ballots received after election day are still counted even if a postmark is missing. This also is regarded as unconstitutional.

 Thielman v. Fagan states that: “We used to vote in a decentralized and transparent manner with individual screening of persons showing up to vote…Now fraud can occur in many more ways and it is very difficult to detect due to the nature of mail-in ballots and the unverifiability of the black box computers that now tabulate the vote.”

The argument to ban mail-in ballots and black box machines is supported by the documentary “2000 Mules”, by former military intelligence analyst Capt. Seth Keshel and by renowned scientist Dr. Douglas Frank.

The lawsuit complaint states that “electronic systems are created, maintained, and administered by a small number of companies having little to no transparency to the public, producing results that are far more difficult to audit than paper-based systems, and lack any meaningful federal standards or security requirements beyond what individual states may choose to certify. Leaders of both major parties have expressed concern about this lack of transparency, analysis and accountability.”

In a March 21, 2018 hearing held by the Senate Intelligence Committee relating to potential foreign interference in the 2016 election, Senator Ron Wyden warned that: 

“Forty-three percent of American voters use voting machines that researchers have found have serious security flaws including backdoors. These companies are accountable to no one. They won’t answer basic questions about their cyber security practices and the biggest companies won’t answer any questions at all. Five states have no paper trail and that means there is no way to prove the numbers the voting machines put out are legitimate. So much for cyber-security 101… The biggest seller of voting machines is doing something that violates cyber-security 101, directing that you install remote-access software which would make a machine like that a magnet for fraudsters and hackers.” 

“Cyber expert Clint Curtis testified under oath before the House Judiciary Committee that he had previously been hired to create a program that would change the results of an election without leaving any trace of the change. Mr. Curtis testified that he wrote this program with ease.”

Analysis from Princeton University found “Malicious software running on a single voting machine can steal votes with little risk of detection. The malicious software can modify all of the records, audit logs, and counters kept by the voting machine, so that even careful forensic examination of these records will find nothing amiss.”

Jake Braun, a former security advisor for the Obama administration and organizer of the DEFCON hacking Conference was asked in 2017, “Do you believe that right now, we are in a position where the 2020 election will be hacked?” He answered, “Oh, without question. I mean the 2020 election will be hacked no matter what we do.” 

Tim Sippel received a ballot database for a public test of the Washington County election system.  During the resulting lawsuit to regain custody of the database, Oregons’ Attorney General Ellen Rosenbaum stated publicly that a restraining order was needed as the data signature could assist nefarious actors as the ballot machines are “vulnerable to attack.” 

Thielman v. Fagan’s complaint regarding Public Records Requests includes a Directive from SOS Shemia Fagan that directs the county clerks to redact ballot images before release to the public. The lawsuit reads; “When word got out that the ballot images, along with the cast vote record can yield important information to check the integrity of the election, county clerks started quoting astronomical charges to obtain public information. 

Prior to the redaction directive, Janice Dysinger had obtained the ballot images and the cast vote records from the Counties of Multnomah for a charge of $159.62, Lincoln for $60, Clatsop for $64, and Polk for $120. The current quotes for the ballot images from the 2020 election from Counties requiring redaction are Benton at $6,798.75, Harney at $7,939.78,  Linn at $77,376.05, Deschutes at $93,703.52 and Douglas at  $51,211.00.  Approximately 1,000 times the original prices!

The suit states that “The obvious intent of the Secretary is not to protect the rare citizen who waived their anonymity by signing their ballot, but to create a cost barrier for the public to access the public’s records.” 

Thielman v. Fagan states that; “To date, neither the Secretary of State, the Governor, nor any legislative body called for a review, investigation, or held public hearings that address citizen concerns or the anomalies uncovered. This lack of “curiosity” denies citizens their right of redress of grievances and creates a sense of hopelessness that the sanctity of their votes will ever be protected.” 

December 16 marks when Defendant Counties Answer or Move to Dismiss the complaint against them. The County Commissioners must decide whether they will side with the election integrity movement or join the other government officials with their own lack of “curiosity”.  In Douglas County that responsibility rests on elected officials, the County Commissioners; Chris Boice, Tim Freeman and Tom Kress.

Disclosure:  The author is a plaintiff in this lawsuit.

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