Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's office has launched an investigation into a Tennessee-based private security firm that reportedly has been looking for armed veterans to monitor polling places in Minnesota on Election Day.
"Minnesota and federal law are clear: no one may interfere with or intimidate a voter at a polling place, and no one may operate private armed forces in our state," Ellison said in a statement Tuesday. "The presence of private ‘security' at polling places would violate these laws. It would make no one safer and is not needed or wanted by anyone who runs elections or enforces the law. For these reasons, my office is formally investigating Atlas Aegis."
Atlas Aegis advertised online last month seeking former members of U.S. Special Operations for "security positions in Minnesota during the November Election and beyond to protect election polls, local businesses, and residences from looting and destruction." The company is not licensed for private security services in Minnesota, according to the chairman of the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Richard Hodsdon.
Atlas Aegis says it is looking to hire workers on behalf of another entity that is licensed in the state, but declined to name the organization. The company's chairman says a group of Minnesota "business owners and concerned citizens" is the client. He also said the veterans will not be seen at polling places unless there is an incident.
"These people are going to be never even seen unless there's an issue," Atlas Aegis Chairman Anthony Caudle said. "So it's not like they're going to be standing around and only allowing certain people in. They're there for protection, that's it. They're there to make sure that the Antifas [sic] don't try to destroy the election sites."