This op-ed by ERN Board Members Larry Garber and Edward McMahon originally appeared on The Hill.
The power of the more than 200-year-old American model of democracy has encouraged people across the globe to fight for their rights and freedoms, often in the face of brutal authoritarians. We have personally seen the impact of U.S. influence through the more than 100 projects that we have helped design to ensure credible and legitimate elections are conducted in countries around the world.
Given this experience, we 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.