Employment & Internships

FairVote is one of our nation's leading democracy organizations, with a unique focus on bold, cutting-edge electoral reforms. FairVote is an equal opportunity employer, and welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, physical abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. Find out more about our fellowship program, internships, and employment openings below. 

FairVote Staff in front of brick building

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FairVote is one of the nation’s leading election reform organizations. With strong support from interns and a national network of volunteers, FairVote’s hard-working and energetic staff advances our mission: achieving “the way democracy will be.” Our office is conveniently located in historic Takoma Park, two blocks from the Washington, D.C. Metro Takoma Station (red line). 

We periodically have job openings for both entry- and mid-level job seekers. We accept applications year-round and keep resumes on file. 

Application Process:

  • Resume, cover letter and writing sample, including at least two references who can speak to your relevant skills. Please send materials to hr@fairvote.org

 FairVote staff in midst of meeting

Democracy Fellowship: Get Hands-On Experience Improving our Democracy

 Democracy Fellows Class 2015

FairVote is one of our nation's leading democracy organizations, with a unique focus on bold, cutting-edge electoral reforms. Each year we seek applicants for full-time, salaried Democracy Fellow positions to work for eleven months from September through July of the following year.

Applications for democracy fellowships in 2017–2018 are due on March 13, 2017We selected four fellows for 2016-2017. A total of 16 fellows were selected in the three preceding classes (including five legal), with a majority moving into staff positions or directly into law school. The application period for 2016-2017 fellowships has closed.

FairVote (www.fairvote.org) works to upgrade outmoded electoral rules and practices to provide a secure, meaningful, and effective vote for all Americans. With strong support from high-profile board members, interns, and a national network of volunteers and allies, our hard-working and energetic staff advances our mission of achieving respect for every vote and every voice through such reforms as: instant runoff voting, universal voter registration, fair representation voting (American forms of proportional voting), a constitutional right to vote, and a national popular vote for president. Our office is conveniently located in historic Old Town Takoma Park, two blocks from the Washington, D.C. Takoma Metro Station (red line).

About FairVote's Democracy Fellowship Program

Two Democracy Fellows chatting

FairVote's Democracy Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for those with an interest in election reform to work on substantive projects while building valuable skills and networking with others in the field. Fellows will be assigned projects to manage throughout their tenures, and will also assist with the supervision of FairVote interns. They will be exposed to the broad workings of FairVote, ranging from research, communications and advocacy, to building websites, blogging, and representing FairVote in coalition meetings and on Capitol Hill. 

The positions are paid, with healthcare benefits and a stipend for commuting expenses. Fellows will be given opportunities to build their skills and knowledge base both through on-the-job training and opportunities to attend workshops and seminars. Nearly every graduate of FairVote's Fellowship Program has either continued at FairVote as a full-time staff member, begun work at another public interest organization, or attended graduate school.

Examples of past Democracy Fellow duties include:


  • Legal: This fellow worked closely with Legal Director Drew Spencer, legal allies, and legal interns on a range of projects relating to the laws of voting rights and voting systems. Projects include collaborating on amicus briefs, drafting legislation, and analyzing policies.
  • Advocacy: This fellow worked closely with Outreach Director Doug Clopp. Responsibilities include research, communications, outreach and advocacy both through meeting with elected officials and through grassroots electoral reform on efforts related to FairVote's innovations. 
  • Research: This fellow worked closely with Research Director Sarah John, research interns, and electoral reform allies to analyze current electoral structures and propose fair alternatives and disseminate findings and proposals through various media including blog posts, handouts, and editorials. Projects include analyzing election results, creating proportional voting plans, preparing reports, and contributing to the blog.

In particular the research department seeks a Congressional research fellow: FairVote’s research department seeks a fellow with interest and experience in researching congressional elections. The department publishes major reports analyzing competition and fairness in congressional elections (including Monopoly Politics), as well as maintains expertise in parliamentary rules and procedure. The congressional research fellow will take a lead role in our research and publishing on Congress. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience writing and publishing, aimed at both general and academic audiences;
  • Advanced skills in data collection, cleaning and analysis, including a functional advanced knowledge of Excel (including formulae and macros) and working knowledge of Stata (or equivalent statistical package);
  • An interest, evidenced by courses taken or work researched or written, in the workings of Congress and congressional elections and/or a major in public policy or political science.


Democracy Fellows work full-time for an eleven-month period from September through July with the potential opportunity to join our staff at the completion of the fellowship. Compensation is subsistence level for the DC area (currently projected as an annual salary of $32,000), along with health and dental benefits, vacation days, commuting reimbursement, moving costs, and weekly office lunches.


FairVote staff are committed to transforming American democracy in to one that respects every vote and every voice. The office environment is informal, but focused on making a difference. We seek an applicant eager to work in such an environment, and, ideally, with some of the following skills:

    • Experience or interest working or volunteering in a nonprofit, political, or policy organization
    • Professional or volunteer experience relating to voting or education
    • Strong public speaking, writing, and research skills
    • Ability to work well in a team environment, both as employee and supervisor
    • Strong listener, with an attention to detail and ability to self-organize
    • Ability to adapt quickly to changes in the workplace and ask questions when needed
    • Ability to become fluent in new subjects and projects quickly
    • Sense of humor and passion for voting reform

FairVote is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage women, people of color, and reformers from all backgrounds and political affiliations to apply.

Fellows Chatting

How to Apply

Note: The application period of 2015-2016 fellowships has closed

Resume, cover letter, writing samples (one of which reflects your skills writing for a popular audience) and two names of references required. In your cover letter, please explain why you want to be a Democracy Fellow and what skills you hope to gain from the experience. Please feel encouraged to express interest in any particular project or issue within FairVote's mission and work. Please send materials to hr@fairvote.org, and be sure to specifically address all materials to FairVote's Executive Director, Rob Richie. Applications for fellowships starting in September are due by March 13, 2017, but may be sent at any time.

Join FairVote's Internship Program


FairVote is a non-partisan non-profit organization that seeks to make democracy fair, functional, and fully representative. We believe there are simple, common sense ways to strengthen our democracy and ensure all voices are heard, all views are respected, and every vote counts.

Applications for interns are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis, but we prefer to receive applications before the time when you would like to be an intern with us. Note that summer internships are highly competitive.

Application Due Dates:

December 1: For spring internships starting in January

March 15: For summer internships

August 15 - for fall internships

Our internship program offers participants the opportunity to work closely on research, communications, legal, or advocacy projects that advance reforms at the local, state, and national level. Interns build their skills and knowledge base through project assignments and attending workshops and seminars. We invite guest speakers to our office and organize field trips to Capitol Hill.

As a small yet ambitious organization, our internships are substantive and interns' work is often featured in our education and advocacy outreach. Our positions are ideal for self-starters, as interns have the flexibility to work in areas in which they are most interested – be it research, activism, communications, or design.

Internship Categories 

Shayna and Nina work on a laptopResearch: Interns will work closely with staff to provide research support. Tasks may include preparing original research, drafting research reports, contributing to the blog, and analyzing election results. Interns should be current undergraduates, graduate students, or recent grads with a commitment to voting rights issues and electoral structural reform. Social science research and statistical experience is highly preferred.

Advocacy: Interns will work closely with staff on various forms of outreach, organizing, including but not limited to: assisting electoral reform advocates at the local, state, and national levels; online organizing; and grassroots resources. Helpful qualities include strong written and verbal communication skills and an outgoing personality. Interns should possess a commitment to election reforms and voting rights issues highlighted at FairVote.org, PromoteOurVote.com, and Representation2020.com.

Communications: Interns will work closely with staff to develop compelling messaging and disseminate FairVote's reforms into public discourse through media relations; list building; supporter management; social media; blogging; and resource development. Helpful qualities include strong written and verbal communication skills along with a keen eye for visual design. Prior experience with media relations, social media, and advocacy a plus.

Legal: Interns will work closely with staff to actively engage in researching, writing legal memos, and assisting in drafting model statutes. Interns must also have a demonstrated commitment to voting rights issues and electoral reform. An ideal legal intern is a 2L or 3L with excellent research and writing skills.

Development: Development interns will work with our executive director and development staff on all aspects of development, providing them with useful experience that can be applied at other non-profit jobs later on. FairVote has been successful in securing foundation grants and major gifts from individual donors. We have an active Board of Directors and regularly host large and small fundraising events.

Applicants with Special Skills: We sometimes offer stipends to interns with special skills that could enhance our work. Examples include a demonstrated ability to 1) film and edit short videos, 2) work with online databases, 3) design promotional materials and/or webpages, 4) perform advanced statistical work.

Types of Internships

  • Group of interns in front of Rep. Van Hollen's (MD-8) officeLaw and Policy Internship

    Interns will work closely with fellows and staff to actively engage in research, writing legal memos, and assisting with statutory drafting and analysis. Interns also have the opportunity to get involved with advocacy, social media, outreach, and fundraising. The ideal intern has excellent research and writing skills, and also an interest in policy work. Interns should possess a demonstrated commitment to voting rights and structural election reform. Interns must have completed their 1L year. 

  • Constituent and Media Relations Internship

    Working in a collaborative setting, interns will assist the communications team in developing digital messaging and fostering relationships with journalists. Harnessing the power of social media, interns will provide FairVote supporters relevant and engaging content. Interns will also maintain accurate journalist/media information and monitor traditional and new media sources for content. Strong writing skills are required. Visual design, communications, or media relations experience is a plus.

  • Women’s Representation and Money in Politics Internship

    The intern will work closely with research and communications staff to explore the role that PACs play in the financing of female candidates. The project, which is a collaborative effort between FairVote, Representation 2020, Common Cause and the Center for Responsive Politics, will involve social science research, data analysis, report and blog writing as well as tasks related to messaging and dissemination of our findings.  Strong research and writing skills are required, and experience analyzing data and/or working in communications is desirable.


Summer 2015 Interns Team Photo

Basic Qualifications 

  • Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and/or Google Docs

  • Strong writing and analytical skills

  • Ability to work in teams and be a self-starter

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but we ask that applications for a particular semester be submitted before the semester begins. Applications should consist of a cover letter, a resume, a writing sample (ideally no more than 5 pages) and, if available, contact information for references. Email your application to hr@fairvote.org. Please address all application materials to Michelle Whittaker, FairVote's Communications Director and Intern Coordinator. Note: Because internships are competitive, we recommend that you apply early.

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