Atlas Aegis, a private security firm founded by veterans, was hired by a private sector client to provide security guards for polling sites. An online job posting asked for vets interested in “security positions in Minnesota during the November election and beyond to protect election polls, local businesses and residences from looting and destruction,” according to the Washington Post.
The company also reportedly posted a job listing on its Facebook page, which has since been taken down, SOFREP reported.
“Antifas” were cited as an apparent concern behind guarding the polling places.
Company chairman Anthony Caudle said in an interview early last week that he is planning to send a “large contingent” to Minnesota but did not specify numbers.
“They’re there to make sure that the Antifas don’t try to destroy the election sites," Caudle told the newspaper, referring to his client – a “consortium of business owners and concerned citizens” in Minnesota that Caudle declined to name.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and Attorney General Keith Ellison released statements that warned the security guards' presence could violate the law, the Star Tribune reported.
“We are actively working with state and federal law enforcement to ensure that these laws are strictly enforced, as they always have been,” Simon said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “In addition, our 30,000 election judges at nearly 3,000 polling places are well-trained on those laws.”
“Any outside effort to supplement election judges or local law enforcement is counterproductive, unwelcome, and possibly unlawful.”
Ellison also released a cease and desist for Aegis. Ellison added that “we don’t expect to have to enforce our laws against voter intimidation, but we will use every resource available to us and all the power of the law if we have to.”
President Trump recently suggested deploying law enforcement officials to polling sites. According to the Washington Post, this would raise the “specter of intimidation.”
Caudle denied that having elite former U.S. military personnel in the vicinity of polling sites would intimidate voters.
“Absolutely not,” Caudle said in his interview. “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.”