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. 

Current Openings

If you are interested in having your application on file for future openings, please send an email to hr@fairvote.org with a subject line of "Interest in employment" and a cover letter explaining the nature of your interest, a resume, and at least one writing sample (ideally for a popular audience).

Application Process:

Resume, cover letter and writing sample (or other sample work as requested), including at least two references who can speak to your relevant skills. Please send materials to hr@fairvote.org with the job title you are applying for in the subject line. 

 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 2018-2019 are due on March 16, 2018. We selected eight fellows for 2017-2018, including one legal fellow. A total of 20 fellows were selected in the four preceding classes, with a majority moving into staff positions or directly into graduate or law school. 

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 or law school.

Examples of Democracy Fellow duties include:


  • Legal: These recent law school graduates work closely with Legal Director Drew Spencer Penrose and the rest of FairVote's legal team, legal allies, and legal interns on a range of projects relating to the laws of voting rights and voting methods. Projects include collaborating on amicus briefs, drafting legislation, and analyzing policies.
  • Advocacy: These fellows work closely with FairVote's outreach department. 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. 
  • Communications: These fellows work closely with FairVote's communications department. Responsibilities include media research, writing, editing, and managing communications with FairVote supporters.
  • Research: These fellows work closely with FairVote's research department, 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:

    • Bachelor's degree 
    • 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, reformers from all backgrounds and political affiliations, and people of all ages to apply.

Fellows Chatting

How to Apply

Resume, cover letter, two 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 16, 2018, but may be sent at any time.

FairVote's Internship Program

P1220482.jpgFairVote 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 internship program is based in Takoma Park, Maryland, offering participants the opportunity to work on projects that advance reforms at the local, state, and national level. Interns build skills and learn through assignments and attending workshops and seminars. We also often have guest speakers in our office and organize field trips to relevant sites in Washington, D.C. such as Capitol Hill.

Our internships are substantive and interns' work is often featured in our educational, advocacy, and outreach activities. Our internships include the flexibility to work in a field in which the intern is most interested, be it research, activism, communications, administration, or design.

Internship Categories 

Shayna and Nina work on a laptop

Development and Fundraising: These interns will support our development team in activities involving fundraising, which is experience that is often particularly helpful for future work in the nonprofit sector. Interns will be involved in a range of such work, including social media and research and writing relating to grant applications, stewardship of current donors, and outreach to prospective donors. Strong research and writing skills are required, and experience fundraising and organizing events  is desirable.

Nonprofit Administration: Interns will assist office management in various administrative, financial, human resources, and technology management activities that support FairVote's work. Interns will be exposed to a diverse range of duties and responsibilities, which will vary considerably depending on the time of year and election cycles. Suitable backgrounds include accounting, business administration, management, and information technology. These interns will receive compensation based on experience, skills and need.


Electoral Systems and Reform Research: Interns will work closely with staff to provide research support. Tasks may include preparing original research, drafting reports, contributing to blogs, and analyzing election results. Interns should be current undergraduate or graduate students, or recent grads with a commitment to voting rights and electoral structural reform. Social sciences, research, and statistical analysis experience is highly preferred.

Advocacy and Supporter Engagement: Interns will work closely with staff on various outreach activities, such as assisting electoral reform advocates at the local, state, and national levels and online and grassroots organizing. Applicants should possess a commitment to electoral reforms and voting rights issues highlighted on the FairVote and Representation2020 websites. Strong communication skills and an outgoing personality are highly preferred.

Constituent and Media Relations: 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 highly preferred.
Group of interns in front of Rep. Van Hollen's (MD-8) office
Law and Policy: Interns will work closely with fellows and staff in performing research, writing legal memos, and assisting with statutory drafting and analysis. Suitable applicants will possess excellent research and writing skills, an interest in policy work, and a demonstrated commitment to voting rights and structural election reform.

Please note: applicants must have completed their 1L year.

Women's Representation: Interns 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.

Applicants with Special Skills: We occasionally offer stipends to interns with special skills, such as the demonstrated ability to film and edit short videos, work with online databases, design promotional materials and websites, and perform advanced statistical work. These interns will receive compensation based on experience, skills and need.


Summer 2015 Interns Team Photo

Applications for internships are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. For non-summer internships, we encourage you to apply at any time, although our preference is December 1 for spring internships and August 15 for fall internships. For the highly competitive summer internship season, please apply by March 1, although we may review applications after that date.

Basic Qualifications:

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

  • Strong writing and analytical skills

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

  • Interest in electoral reforms studied and supported by FairVote.

Applications should consist of a cover letter, a resume, a writing sample (ideally no more than 5 pages) and, if available, references. Email your application to hr@fairvote.org. Note: Scholarships are available for highly qualified candidates, based on financial need.


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