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Internships

Join FairVote's Internship Program

photo 4FairVote'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

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 and Communications: Interns will work closely with staff on various forms of outreach, organizing, and communications, including but not limited to: assisting advocates for election reform at the local, state, and national levels; media relations; online organizing; list building; supporter management; social media; and blogging. Helpful qualities include strong written and verbal communication skills and an outgoing personality. Prior experience with organizing, social media, and advocacy a plus. Interns should possess a commitment to election reforms and voting rights issues highlighted at FairVote.orgFairVoteAction.orgPromoteOurVote.com, and Representation2020.com.
  • 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

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 2015 are due March 13, 2015, and we will begin interviewing applicants in January. 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 protected]Note: Because summer internships are particularly competitive, we recommend that you apply early.