By The Funders Network Staff

The Funders Network’s President and CEO Pat Smith is among the more than 100 philanthropic leaders calling for leaders at all levels of government and across all sectors to ensure a free, fair, and safe election.

The letter, which includes signatures from leaders representing a range of ideological viewpoints, presses for safe elections with all votes tallied and the result respected peacefully.

The letter was circulated by the Democracy Funders Network, a coalition of grant makers, and Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement. It was published Oct. 19 on Medium and was also featured in a recent story by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

“These are giant warning signs for American democracy, for civil society, and for most of the issues about which philanthropy is concerned,” the letter says. It urges politicians, civil-society leaders, media companies, and everyday Americans to ensure “the sacred right to vote is upheld and the norms of representative democracy transcend partisanship.”

“To achieve this objective, we call upon leaders at all levels of government and sectors of society to uphold their obligations to democracy during this intensely partisan time,” reads the letter.

The calls-to-action listed in the letter ask that people:

  • Ensure that all eligible voters are able to vote and to have their votes counted. Any efforts to suppress votes — including along racial lines — or to thwart or overturn the will of the people are anti-democratic and unacceptable.
  • Support efforts and advance messages that uphold the safety and integrity of the electoral process. Unfounded claims about voter fraud or the illegitimacy of the election do irreparable harm to the centerpiece of our democracy.
  • Forcefully and consistently condemn all forms of political violence. Our leaders should be doing everything in their power to de-escalate rather than encourage violence.
  • Commit to respect the peaceful transfer of power or the continuation of power, pending the final results of the election, which will take time to tabulate. This norm is a hallmark of American democracy, and the American people should not be left to wonder whether a candidate for public office will refuse to accept the results of a free and fair election.

To read the full letter as well as the list of signatories, please visit the original post: Philanthropic Leaders Call to Uphold American Democracy During Tense Election