Members of Vote Smart often volunteer their time by participating in our two-week Member Internship Program. Although we prefer that members volunteer for a full two weeks, we can make exceptions to this on a case-by-case basis. We provide free housing for all member volunteers, but do ask for a donation to offset the cost of meals. We are in the greatest need of member volunteers during the winter, spring, and fall months when we lack student interns. Computer skills are extremely helpful, but not always necessary.
The work that is done in our office is not glorious. Since we cover thousands of elected officials and candidates at various levels, the work is often tedious and monotonous. However, if you are interested in making a genuine contribution to the improvement of democracy, while working in a positive and idealistic environment, we would love to have you join our team. The rewards for your efforts are numerous. You will have the unique opportunity to live in a Rocky Mountain paradise, while working with volunteers of all ages. You may even make a few new friends in the process. In fact, many volunteers come back year after year and often arrange to volunteer with those they have met in the past.
Vote Smart's Great Divide Ranch Retreat Research Center is located 100 miles south of Missoula and 65 miles west of Butte, Montana. Nestled in the high peaks, lakes and streams of the Continental Divide the Great Divide Ranch is teaming with moose, elk, beaver, and fish.
There are a myriad of outdoor activities available to interns and volunteers year-round. Whether it's hiking, fishing or horseback riding in the summer, or skiing and ice fishing in the winter, there is always something fun to do. We also have tennis, basketball and horseshoe facilities, as well as a small library and game room.
The housing facilities consist of lodges divided into rooms that sleep between two and six. We provide private accommodations for couples, but member interns that come alone should expect to have at least one roommate. We have a year round full-time lodge manager and a full time cook during the summer months. As part of living in a group, interns and volunteers are required to help with weekly cleaning and maintenance chores assigned by the lodge manager. Interns and volunteers may also be asked to assist with cooking during the non-summer months.
To get a glimpse of the spectacular environment that we work in, check out our 10 minute presentation on Vote Smart.
Member Interns work full time as temporary staff members. The majority of our members work in our research and membership departments and assist with data entry, internet research, proof checking and mass mailings. We also occasionally seek volunteers to work in our kitchen or assist with outdoor and maintenance work. We have the greatest need for kitchen and maintenance help during the summer and early fall, but may need help during other times of the year.
To qualify for a Member Internship you must meet the following:
- Set aside political beliefs and be objective and non-partisan while working.
- Commit to two consecutive weeks (consider one week stays on a case by case basis)
- Be a member of Vote Smart (exceptions may be made during the non-summer months when we are in greatest need of help).
To become a Member Intern complete the Online Member Internship Application or Download and mail or fax a print application. Applications may also be requested by calling our toll-free hotline 1-888-VOTE-SMART (1-888-868-3762).
For more information, see our Member Internship Frequently Asked Questions.