Ellison takes action against company manning polling places with armed guards

"Minnesota and federal law are clear: it is strictly illegal to intimidate or interfere with voters."

Image Credit: Twitter via @AGEllison

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has won a legal battle that will prevent Atlas Aegis, a security company, from acting in Minnesota for over two years.

After Minnesotans reported sightings of armed guards at polling places, Attorney General Ellison took the security service responsible, Atlas Aegis, to court. Ellison’s office won a written assurance against the Tennessee-based security provider, which admitted it was wrong in its actions and agreed to not operate in the state until the start of 2022.

“Minnesotans should expect that our elections will run as safely, smoothly, and securely as they always have. One of the reasons is that my office and our partners are actively enforcing our laws against threatening, frightening, or intimidating voters,” Ellison said in a press release

“I’m holding Atlas Aegis to account for their misstatements about recruiting security for polling places in Minnesota that potentially frightened Minnesota voters. They won’t be doing it again and will not be anywhere in Minnesota before, during, or after Election Day,” he added. 

Atlas Aegis was asked by a separate Minnesota security company to protect the private property of its clients around the date of the Nov. 3 election, not polling places. As part of the legal settlement with Ellison’s office, Atlas Aegis admitted that it had misunderstood the assignment, and had solicited armed personnel to guard polling areas.

In addition to not operating or recruiting in Minnesota until Jan. 1, 2022, Atlas Aegis agreed to “not seek to intimidate voters, in Minnesota or elsewhere, in connection with the election.” Anthony Caudle, chair of the company, has previously claimed that armed guards at polling locations would do no such thing.

“These people are going to be never even seen unless there’s an issue. So it’s not like they’re going to be standing around and only allowing certain people in,” Caudle told the Washington Post. “They’re there to make sure that the antifas don’t try to destroy the election sites.”

Ellison said both Minnesota and federal law make it “strictly illegal to intimidate or interfere with voters.”

“I want to make it crystal clear to anyone who is even thinking about intimidating voters that I will not hesitate to enforce the laws against it to the fullest extent,” he said.