Founded in 1992, FairVote is recognized as a national leader in electoral systems reform. Their mission is based upon the belief that electoral systems can be reformed at all levels of government in order to increase vitality in our democracy, ensure fairer representation of our society’s diversity in elected bodies, and assist local state and national governments in their efforts toward solving the complex issues facing our nation.
They maintain a comprehensive website with a wide array of public education materials. They provide legal assistance in voting rights cases, and hold workshops in communities and at conferences around the United States. Throughout the nation their experts are called upon to provide analysis and commentary to all types of media outlets including CNN, NPR, FOX, etc.
Because they are a relatively small organization — they typically have four to eight full-time staff members in their Takoma Park, Maryland office — interns assume a great deal of responsibility. They have real flexibility in having interns work on areas they are most interested in — be it research, activism, website, writing or creating materials.
FairVote offers internships to undergraduate students, graduate students, and law students. They have also had recent graduates intern with them.
They offer internships at all points during the year, and have no fixed deadlines for applying. They offer unpaid full-time and part-time internships, although most summer internships are full-time. Their summer internships are the most competitive. They are willing to work with interns to meet requirements for receiving academic credit and/or outside funding for internships.
Below are a number of internship job descriptions, outlining a number of intern positions. Note that these are guidelines for internships and that interns may take on responsibilities for more than one internship position. CVD staff members are assigned to each internship program area, and interns work closely with those staff members. On occasion, there are opportunities for interns to develop their own project areas outside those outlined below.
Types of Internships
- Research: Interns will work closely with staff and fellows 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 currently undergraduates, graduate students, or recent grads with a demonstrated 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 a plus.
- Advocacy: Interns will work closely with fellows and staff to do various forms of outreach and communication, including but not limited to: assisting volunteers advocating for election reform on the local level, media relations, online organizing including email actions, list building, supporter management, social media, and blogging. Interns should have strong written and verbal communication skills, as well as an outgoing personality. Prior knowledge and experience with either social media or advocacy a plus. Interns should possess a demonstrated commitment to voting rights issues and electoral structural reform.
- Legal: Interns will work closely with fellows and staff to actively engage in research, writing legal memos, and assisting in writing amicus briefs. Interns also have the opportunity to get involved with advocacy, social media outreach, and fundraising. The ideal legal intern is a 2L or 3L who has excellent research and writing skills. Interns must also have a strong interest in promoting voting systems that achieve an alternative to winner-take-all systems. Furthermore, interns should possess a demonstrated commitment to voting rights issues and electoral structural reform.
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 April 10, 2015. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Because summer internships are particularly competitive, we recommend that you apply early.