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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Employment

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 2016–2017 are due on March 11, 2016. We selected six fellows for 2015-2016. A total of ten fellows were selected in the two preceding classes (including four legal), with a majority moving into staff positions. The application period for 2015-2016 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 Manager 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.

Details

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.

Qualifications

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

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. Applications for fellowships starting in September 2016 are due by March 11, 2016, but may be sent at any time. Note: The application period of 2015-2016 fellowships has closed.

Join FairVote's Internship Program

Summer 2015 Interns

FairVote's year-round internship program provides an opportunity for those with an interest in electoral reform and election research to work on substantive projects. Each intern is paired with a staff member to achieve specific goals, but is also exposed to the broader workings of FairVote – including legal work with law students, research, communications, advocacy, website development, fundraising, and blogging.

Interns are given opportunities to build their skills and knowledge base, as well as opportunities to attend workshops and seminars and hear from guest speakers. Because we are 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.

Internships are typically unpaid, although we will pay for daily commuting costs and provide at least one free lunch a week. We are also willing to work with interns to meet requirements for receiving academic credit and/or outside funding, and will consider stipends for interns with specific skills such as website design and videomaking.

Working at FairVote

Shayna and Nina work on a laptop
FairVote is one of our nation's leading democracy organizations focused on bold, change-oriented electoral reforms. Through innovative research, effective communications, and strategic advocacy, FairVote works to upgrade outmoded electoral rules and practices to ensure respect for every voice and every vote. Our preferred reforms include 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).

Types of Internships

  • Research: Interns will work closely with staff to provide research support. Tasks may include preparing research reports, contributing to the blog, revamping issue areas of the website, and analyzing election results. Interns also have the opportunity to get involved with advocacy, social media, outreach, and fundraising. Interns should be current undergraduates, graduate students, or recent grads with a commitment to voting rights issues and electoral structural reform. Experience with Microsoft Word and Excel is required, and excellent writing skills are expected. Social science research and statistical experience is highly preferred, and website and graphic design skills are a plus.
  • Advocacy: Interns will work closely with staff on various forms of outreach, organizing, including but not limited to: assisting advocates for election reform 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.orgPromoteOurVote.com, and Representation2020.com.

  • Group of interns in front of Rep. Van Hollen's (MD-8) officeCommunications: 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 organizing, social media, and advocacy a plus. 
  • Legal: Interns will work closely with staff to actively engage in researching, writing legal memos, and assisting in writing amicus briefs. Interns also have the opportunity to get involved with advocacy, social media outreach, and fundraising. An ideal legal intern is a 2L or 3L with excellent research and writing skills. Interns must also have a strong interest in promoting voting systems that achieve an alternative to winner-take-all elections. Furthermore, interns should possess a demonstrated commitment to voting rights issues and electoral reform. 
  • Development: 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. 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. 
  • 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.

Applying

Summer 2015 Interns Team Photo

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but we ask that applications for a particular semester be submitted before the semester begins. Applications for the summer of 2016 are due April 8, 2016. 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.orgNote: Because summer internships are particularly competitive, we recommend that you apply early.


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