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Intern Spotlight: Laura Diamond

15 November 2012

Where are you from and what school did you attend?

I'm from the Chicago area, and I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

What did you study?

Studied International Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.

What is your typical day like?
I come to work at eight and begin working on my project for the day. Throughout my internship I have researched biographies and endorsements, processed election results, and worked on other various projects. When I am on Hotline duty, I research specific questions from callers on anything from voter registration to issue positions of specific candidates. At 12:30, we have an hour long lunch during which we all relax and eat together. After lunch I resume my projects until five. Once or twice a week I also work outside after lunch splitting wood and doing other maintenance on the ranch.

What special projects are you working on?
I am currently working on a spreadsheet of all the term information for state elected officials in all 50 states and 3 territories. I am reading through all the state constitutions and state legislative and judicial websites, and sometimes call the secretary of state to find the information. I am also learning Standard Query Language, so that I can better search and organize the information on our database.

How do you think this internship will help you in the future?
This internship has provided me with invaluable research skills as well as some tech skills. I have also gained a lot of information through my research about politics and the inner workings of the political system.

Why do you feel Project Vote Smart is important?
I believe that sharing free information is the first step to changing the nature of American politics. American citizens have the right to know the reality of politics beyond campaign rhetoric and bias media reporting. I believe that Project Vote Smart can help to bring about a more politically involved and informed society, which is essential to an open and free democracy.

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