Fall 2014 Legislative Research Internship

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Description

Dedicated to the prospect that an informed electorate is a better electorate, Project Vote Smart exists to provide voters with the most accurate information available to the public. No other organization has as much information for consumption, and no other organization has goals as lofty as Project Vote Smart’s.

Project Vote Smart is an independent, non-partisan source that provides accurate information about candidates, those who govern, and key pieces of legislation. By providing information in an easy and accessible manner, Project Vote Smart believes that citizens can better defend themselves from the questionable rhetoric and misrepresentation that characterizes present-day political campaigns.

Founded in 1992 by national leaders such as former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter (D) and Gerald Ford (R), Project Vote Smart is dedicated to serving all Americans with accurate and unbiased information for electoral decision-making. Its policies and procedures are designed to guarantee absolute impartiality and standards of excellence in fulfillment of its mission.

A non-profit organization, Project Vote Smart is funded exclusively through private donations by over 45,000 members, as well as grants from private philanthropic foundations. To guarantee its integrity and accountability as a non-partisan and completely objective service to the American people, Project Vote Smart does not accept financial contributions from lobbyists, governmental organizations, corporations, businesses, or special interests.

Over 5,000 public libraries and hundreds of national and local news organizations, including CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox, MSNBC, MTV, NBC, Newsweek, and PBS have shown support for Project Vote Smart.

Responsibilities

Project Vote Smart, a national non-profit and non-partisan political research and voter education organization, is currently accepting applications for its Fall 2014 legislative research internship program located in Austin, Texas. The organization, founded by a politically diverse group of leaders including former presidents Carter and Ford, provides information to the public regarding all aspects of political candidates and elected government officials. By making this information freely available, Project Vote Smart aims to better prepare citizens to defend themselves from the political hype and misrepresentations that are characteristic of modern-day political campaigns.

Interns in our Austin office, located at the University of Texas at Austin’s Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life within the Moody College of Communications, will work primarily on our legislative research program, covering legislation and key votes from all fifty states and Congress. Daily tasks may include tracking local media sources and reports, compiling legislative voting records, summarizing and translating significant pieces of legislation into language the average voter can understand, and other duties as needed. Additionally, interns may be asked to help with our latest efforts to create meaningful relationships between our many disparate pieces of data. This effort will include categorizing our historical data as well as helping to find relationships and implementing new data visualizations. All interns perform substantive and meaningful work, and will never be asked to answer phones or make coffee.

Interns gain familiarity reading and interpreting actual legislation, and acquire valuable experience for those considering law school or working in any policy-related field. Through their daily work, interns in our legislative research department are exposed to the important issues facing their state and the country, as well as the solutions being proposed by policymakers. We are more than happy to work with students' university departments in order to help them receive academic credit for their internship experience when possible.

Requirements

Required:
• Excellent written communication skills
• Strong desire to learn more about politics, policy, and the legislative process
• Enthusiasm for Project Vote Smart’s mission
• Ability to remain nonpartisan
• Ability to commit to at least 10 hours per week for the entire semester

Preferred:
• Research experience
• Prior knowledge of the legislative process

Applications will be accepted from all students regardless of academic major or educational institution.

How To Apply

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