Company agrees not to place guards at Minnesota voting sites

Stickers beside a sign that reads "used pens"
An abundance of "I Voted" stickers await voters at Believer Fellowship Church in Moorhead, Minn., on Nov. 3, 2020.
Ann Arbor Miller for MPR News 2020

A Tennessee company that had been advertising for security guards to monitor the 2020 election in Minnesota and then backed away from the idea must follow certain provisions in the future as part of a settlement agreement approved Tuesday in federal court.

The Minnesota chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the League of Women Voters sued Atlas Aegis LLC, alleging voter intimidation. The complaint came two weeks before the election and after the company advertised for security workers in Minnesota.

The agreement prohibits Atlas Aegis from deploying armed guards within 250 feet of any polling place or meeting locations of canvassing boards or presidential electors in Minnesota until 2025. The company “shall not otherwise intimidate, threaten, or coerce" voters, people who are helping voters or people who are counting votes, according to a consent decree.

The agreement is not an admission of liability by Atlas Aegis, the decree states.

“The settlement reached today sends a strong message to Atlas Aegis and others across our state and nation that we will defend our democracy from both foreign and domestic threats." said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN.

Lawyers for Atlas Aegis did not immediately respond to interview requests by The Associated Press.

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