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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

The View from Across the Water

2009 October 05 - Bonnie


So, how was it that an otherwise normal student from the United Kingdom decided to spend his first three months after graduation on a remote ranch in the Montana mountains, tracking the doings of legislators in states he's never visited and helping citizens from across the length and breadth of America, who call in with questions ranging from Governor Schwarzenegger's position on swamp-dredging to the ethnic demographics of Colorado counties and the political histories of Maine's Congressional delegation?


Well, like most important decisions, it was first set in motion by pure chance. It was chance, for example, that I was dispatched to the University of Arizona back in 2007 for a year's study in America, rather than any of the other universities I'd applied to. It was chance that I happened to share a class there with a then-current Vote Smart intern, and chance that she happened to give a presentation on PVS's grand democratic mission at a time when I was becoming interested in (some might say ‘obsessed with') the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of American politics. And, while the decision to apply for a spring internship at PVS's Arizona office was my own (motivated in roughly equal parts by the wish to learn more about America's political system, a desire to contribute in some small way to the betterment of this system, and the nagging feeling that my resume could use some bulking-up), it was chance that my supervisor in Arizona went on to become PVS ...

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