FairVote Democracy Fellows

Hands-On Experience Improving our Democracy

FairVote is one of the nation's leading democracy organizations, with a unique focus on bold, cutting edge electoral reforms. We are seeking applicants for two full-time, salaried Democracy Fellow positions for January 2010 through July 2010 and for September 2010 to July 2011. Applications for fellowships starting this January are due by October 31. Applications for fellowships starting next September are due March 15, 2010.

FairVote grounds its work in upgrading outmoded electoral rules and practices to provide an equally secure, meaningful and effective vote for all Americans. With strong support from high-profile board members, interns and a national network of volunteers, our hard-working and energetic staff advances our mission of achieving respect for every vote and every voice through such reforms as: majority voting for executive offices through instant runoff voting, universal voter registration of all eligible voters, proportional voting for fair representation of legislatures, 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

FairVote's Democracy Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for those with an interest in election reform to work on a substantive project while building valuable skills and networking with others in the field. This year (January to July, 2010), we are seeking two candidates: one to work with FairVote Action, a 501c-4 organization that lobbies for reform in Congress and in states around the country, and one for FairVote, with a focus on communications. Fellows will be paired with a FairVote staff member and assigned projects to manage from beginning to end. They will be exposed to the broad workings of FairVote, ranging from research, communications and advocacy, to building websites and blogging.

The positions are paid, with health benefits and support for commuting expenses. Fellows will be given opportunities to build their skills and knowledge base both through on-the-job training, as well as opportunities to attend workshops and seminars. Graduates of our Democracy Fellowship Program will be well-positioned to pursue employment with democracy organizations and have valuable experience to tout if seeking to enter graduate school.

Democracy Fellow Openings

FairVote is actively recruiting Democracy Fellow Candidates for the January to July2010 term and is beginning to accept applications for September 2010 to July 2011. We have two available positions:

  • FairVote Action Coordinator: The FairVote Action Coordinator will work on range of projects, primarily through FairVote Action, FairVote's advocacy partner. Responsibilities will include research, communications, outreach and advocacy both through on the Hill meeting with legislators and through nation-wide grassroots electoral reform campaigns.  This fellow will work closely with FairVote Action president Rob Richie.
  • FairVote Communications Associate: The FairVote Communications Associate will be supervised by FairVote's Communications Director Paul Fidalgo in all aspects of research, analysis and publicity for the range of FairVote's issues. This Fellow's particular focus will be FairVote's outreach on instant runoff voting (IRV) a majority voting system designed to accommodate increased voter choice in elections. Responsibilities will include providing resources to local IRV activists, assisting in coordinating local IRV campaigns, researching and preparing reports, and drafting editorials, blog posts and monthly newsletter articles.


This year, Democracy Fellows will serve full-time, for a seven-monthterm from January to July, 2010, with the potential opportunity to join our staff at the completion of the term. Compensation will be at a subsistence level for the DC area (a minimum of $21,000 a year), along with full health and dental benefits, as well as a transportation subsidy (Metrochecks).


FairVote staff are highly committed to transforming American democracy as a nonpartisan value, grounded in respect for 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:

  • 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/or 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, and reformers from all backgrounds to apply.

How to Apply

Resume, cover letter and writing sample, including two references required to be considered. 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 free to express interest in any particular project or issue within FairVote's mission and work. Please send materials to [email protected]. Applications for fellowships starting in January are due by October 31. Applications for fellowships starting next September are due by March 15, 2010.