Posted by Harry Leeser on June 20, 2016
My name is Harry, and I’m a rising junior at Swarthmore College, where I am majoring in political science and minoring in English. I chose to intern at FairVote this summer mostly because of my long standing interest in electoral reform. My interest in electoral reform started while I was in middle school and learned about the electoral college and the controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election. This held particular interest for me because my dad served two tours of duty in Iraq, and if the election had been decided by a national popular vote and Al Gore had won the presidency instead of George W. Bush, the circumstances of my dad’s service might have been very different.
This piqued my interest in changing how we elect the president, and I became a supporter of the movement for the national popular vote. Over time I was exposed to other electoral reforms, including ranked choice voting through some great videos on YouTube by C.G.P. Grey. While at college, my friends and I would often talk about political reform. Ranked choice voting came up often as part of a solution that included limiting campaign finances and tying lawmakers salaries to some outside metric such as the growth of GDP or the growth of the average American income. Before this year, I had heard a little about FairVote, so when I started thinking about what I was going to do this summer, I dug deeper into the work FairVote does. After I saw FairVote’s advocacy for the implementation of ranked choice voting in cities across the country, I knew that FairVote was definitely a place I wanted to work.
While I am here at FairVote, I look forward to learning what it takes to effectively advocate for policy change and improve my networking skills. Additionally, I hope that my time at FairVote will aid me as I finish college in deciding what I want to do after I graduate. I have my next two years pretty well planned out, and I am trying to decide whether or not I want to attend law school after I graduate. I’m really looking forward to this summer and working to improve our democracy.
Harry is the 2016 Advocacy Intern at FairVote. Learn more about FairVote's Democracy Fellowships and Internship opportunities on our Employment page.