“US election deniers promoting democracy abroad defies reason”

Larry Garber and Edward McMahon in the Hill:

[W]e are concerned that efforts to advance democracy abroad may be compromised by board members of publicly-funded U.S. democracy promotion organizations who deny the legitimacy of the 2020 elections. This concern is exacerbated by the presence of an active promoter of the Big Lie sitting on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). 

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) not only voted against the certification of the Electoral College votes for President Biden but has also become a leading promoter of debunked conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 election. Concerned NED staff raised the seeming incompatibility of Stefanik serving as a democracy promoter abroad while being associated with the Big Lie at home. Yet this year, the NED board renewed Stefanik for another term.

While it is unfortunate that this even needs to be said, board members of organizations committed to promoting democracy abroad should act in a manner that is consistent with adherence to core democratic principles. A range of partisan perspectives is important, but board members should be required to commit to the following principles: not fomenting violence in response to an adverse election outcome; accepting the peaceful transfer of power based on the outcome of an election after judicial remedies have been exhausted and not plotting to undermine the outcome of an election by promoting unfounded conspiracies and disinformation campaigns.

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