Where are you from and what school do you attend?
I am from Central Ohio and I attend New York University, Abu Dhabi.
What do you study?
I study Political Science with a focus on the Arab Crossroads.
What made you want to intern here?
I felt compelled to intern at Vote Smart because of its mission and awesome location. There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to spend a summer in beautiful rural Montana (especially after living in the desert for 9 months). Furthermore, the opportunity to visit Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks was a huge factor for me. As for the mission, I was excited to be a part of something that worked for democracy and uniting people rather than a campaign that worked to tear people apart.
What is your typical day like?
My typical day includes monitoring the websites of House and Senate members for new press releases and statements, then collecting them for Vote Smart's website. Outside of work, I usually take a hike around the ranch or the National Forest that surrounds the ranch.
What special projects are you working on?
I am writing a blog post for our website about campaign finance reform. I am trying to compile a concise post detailing reform from Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA, 1972) to current attempts at passing the DISCLOSE Act.
What do you do in your free time here?
In my free time I have traveled to a ghost town, Yellowstone, Glacier, Portland, and Seattle. Around the ranch I have explored the surrounding area, including 'the Whale,' 'Huff-Puff,' and the Warren's Peak region. Additionally, I take advantage of the great selection of books in Vote Smart's library.
Why do you feel Project Vote Smart is important?
Vote Smart is important because it stands out as one of very few truly nonpartisan forces in a world controlled by partisan politics. There is a limited number of places a voter can turn for unbiased political information, and so Vote Smart remains important for being that source.
How do you think this internship will help you in the future?
This internship will help me by having shown me two distinct worlds. First, I am actively engaged in the world of politics through reading debates of Congress and monitoring the websites of Congress Members. Second, working at Vote Smart is a great way to experience the ever-changing world of nonprofit organizations. By interacting with these two worlds I will gain skills that will be useful even if I do not pursue a career in the political realm.