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The Internship Program

The Vote Smart Internship Program provides a unique lesson in the study of American politics. Students come to help American citizens educate themselves about elected officials and candidates. By providing this information in an easy and accessible manner, Vote Smart believes that citizens can better defend themselves from the political hype and misrepresentation characteristic of present day political campaigns.

Interns play a crucial role at Vote Smart and make up the vast majority of our staff. The individual talents, ideas and hard work of our interns have been instrumental in the success of many of our most important programs.

Since Vote Smart researches thousands of elected officials and candidates' backgrounds, the work is often tedious. However, if you are interested in making a genuine contribution to your Nation, in an idealistic and positive environment we would love to have you join our team. There is plenty of room to learn and grow with the organization. Interns often return as staff members after they have finished their college careers.

College students and recent graduates typically participate in our Internship Program. Interns must commit to 15 consecutive weeks, but may intern anytime during the year. We accept applications on a rolling basis and have no deadline, but interns are encouraged to submit their application’s early because space does fill up quickly.

Job Descriptions

Interns work as staff members. They may be assigned to one of the following departments, or may work on special projects in several departments, as needed.

Research Assistant - Training on our database; answer our Voter's Research Hotline; research special requests made by callers; maintain and update data as needed, research in the following programs:

  • Election Monitoring and collection of political resources, such as Ballot Measures and Voter Registration information
  • Biographical information and Issue Positions for candidates and elected officials
  • Legislative Research, to include writing and editing state and Congressional Key Vote summaries, as well as entering and checking vote breakdowns for selected votes
  • Evaluations and Ratings by Special Interest Groups
  • Public Statements made by members of Congress
Development and Communications Assistant - Maintain contact information for national and statewide media; contact news organizations regarding news releases; assist with the writing and editing of external communications; create content for the organization on Facebook and Twitter. Work in all aspects of the membership department. Data entry, bulk mailing, research and statistical analysis, contact members and vendors and process special requests.


Vote Smart's Internship Program provides students with unique practical and educational experiences. We seek interns who are genuinely interested in working to accomplish our goal of making factual, unbiased political information easily and freely accessible to all. The overriding qualification for securing an internship position is your willingness to commit 100% to the Project's goals and mission.

To qualify for a Vote Smart internship you must meet the following:

  1. Set aside political beliefs and be objective and non-partisan while working.

  2. Be in good standing with your university/school.

  3. Commit to a semester (about 15 consecutive weeks) at a minimum of 130 hours.

    1. We are always looking for more help! For questions about full-time internships please email


Intern applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form.

  2. Resume and cover letter.

  3. Minimum of three academic or professional references. References need only be names and contact information.

Application should be completed online - Internship Application.

For more information about internship opportunities or alternate application submission options please contact the Internship Coordinator.

Internship Frequently Asked Questions

Credit For Internships

Interns may receive course credit for their experience, and are responsible for making such arrangements with their educational institution in advance. Please see our frequently asked questions section for more information on receiving credit for your internship.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or would like to receive additional information, please contact the Internship Coordinator:

Internship Coordinator
1153 24th Street
Des Moines, IA 50311

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