ST. PAUL — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has launched an investigation into a Tennessee-based private security company that was reportedly recruiting military veterans to perform services in Minnesota in connection with the Nov. 3 election.

The investigation was announced in a news release Tuesday evening, Oct. 20.

Ellison sent a civil investigative demand to Atlas Aegis on Oct. 14, according to the release. The company is legally bound to reply, based on a Ramsey County District Court order.

The Washington Post reported on Oct. 9 that the Tennessee security firm is recruiting former U.S. military servicemembers to guard voting precincts in Minnesota. The firm's founder denied in an interview with the Post that their presence will be intimidating to voters.

The state’s civil investigative demand requests information on who is hiring the private security, what their anticipated role will be, what training they will receive, and how they will meet Minnesota state requirements, according to the release.

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“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 the release. “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.”