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 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).
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).
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:
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:
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:
FairVote is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage women, people of color, and reformers from all backgrounds and political affiliations 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to specifically address all materials to FairVote's Executive Director, Rob Richie. 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.
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.
Our summer 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.
Research: 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.
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 for the summer of 2016 are due by May 15, 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 email@example.com. Please address all application materials to Michelle Whittaker, FairVote's Communications Director and Intern Coordinator. Note: Because summer internships are particularly competitive, we recommend that you apply early.