Spring 2020 Internship Program
Ballotpedia is a team of fast learners who are eager to work hard to make the world a better place. We believe the world would be a better place if every voter cast an informed vote in every election in which he or she is eligible to vote. We work to present the available information about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, and more in a way that enables our readers to vote with confidence and to act as engaged citizens outside of the polling booth.
Ballotpedia readers, like Ballotpedia staff, are special people. And in 2016, we got curious enough about what made our readers special to commission an in-depth study to answer that question. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:
Readers are characterized by their decision to run toward knowledge, instead of retreating. This sense of “onward” characterizes the Ballotpedia readers—they recognized a problem with the media they had been consuming and sought out a different way.
Readers have found and continue to find our articles in droves. It turns out there is an unclaimed audience out there—people who want straightforward facts about political issues, and are willing to read at length instead of just scanning the headlines.
We’re discovering “If you build it, they will come” applies to our work engaging and informing voters: our readers come to our neutral oasis in growing numbers; by 2016, fully 20 percent of American voters read one or more of Ballotpedia’s 250,000+ encyclopedic articles in the six weeks leading up to election day. Mostly, they came from Google. Google has always loved our detailed, well-sourced articles, because their algorithm is excellent at figuring out what their searchers are after.
That search engine dominance got us past one BILLION lifetime pageviews in September 2018, and helped make us the 92nd most-visited website in the U.S. during the month surrounding the November 2018 midterms.
We scarcely had an email list before 2016. We now have over 250,000 subscribers on more than a dozen separate lists. We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral information in front of people at the times when they most need it. We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help them cultivate, are essential, as too many others in our industry are fighting to get us all addicted to sensational clickbait headlines and the irrational decisions they foster.
And, with all that, we’re just getting started, knowing that the opportunities and growth ahead are limitless. If this is a mission you’d be willing to work hard to achieve, and if this is a team you’d be willing to work hard with, join us.
"Interns at Ballotpedia have the rare opportunity to be engaged in politics in a fascinating behind-the-scenes way, working to build the Encyclopedia of American Politics— breaking news and documenting history— while maintaining complete neutrality. At BP, you'll gain experience with a multitude of tasks to prepare you for any avenue you decide to take in the crazy, fun world of politics and news." — Jackie Mitchell, 2018 Spring Intern and current Ballotpedia Staff Writer
"Participating in the editorial internship program was an exceptional learning experience that prepared me for my current role as a staff writer. Through the internship, I received extensive training on preventing bias, learned how to code the website, and worked on challenging projects, all with the support of helpful and encouraging Ballotpedia staff." — Janie Valentine, 2019 Spring Intern and current Ballotpedia Staff Writer
As an intern, you will go through a similar onboarding experience to full-time Ballotpedia employees. You will learn how to code the Ballotpedia website, be oriented to Ballotpedia’s style guide, learn about what we do to prevent and detect bias in our resources, and much more. Following orientation, you will join either the Editorial, Communications, Tech, or Outreach teams, working alongside full and part-time staff members.
In addition to your onboarding experience, and the experience you will develop working in your assigned area, you will also have the opportunity to attend topical meetings or webinars.
As a Ballotpedia Editorial intern, you may:
• build articles on candidates and elections;
• write about Federal, State, or Local elections, depending upon your assignment;
• research candidate stances;
• research race expenditures;
• process candidate surveys; and
• write and research on other topics as assigned.
As a Ballotpedia Communications intern, you may:
• assist with Ballotpedia’s social media strategy;
• assist with Ballotpedia’s various newsletter products, from daily and weekly newsletters to special communications following important news events;
• respond to communications from a variety of external sources;
• assist in coordinating and completing webinars, book clubs, or similar group events; and
• collect a variety of data points, tracking subscribers, engagement, and more.
As a Ballotpedia Tech Team intern, you may:
• research the pros, cons, and features of new technology/software that the team is considering;
• assist with quality assurance testing;
• assist with GIS/map-related research and file manipulation; and
• listen in on code reviews and other discussions with the developers.
As a Ballotpedia Outreach intern, you may:
• assist with organizing Ballotpedia's numerous partnership opportunities;
• help prepare notes on people, organizations, etc. for the Director of Outreach;
• prepare research on election topics that may be needed for small partnerships; and
• compile necessary information on potential partnerships.
Ballotpedia’s Spring 2020 internship runs from Monday, January 13 through Friday, May 1. Ballotpedia’s spring internship is a part-time internship program; interns will work approximately 20 hours per week depending on their availability.
Ballotpedia is happy to facilitate credit for your internship experience if that is available to you. If you will be seeking credit for your internship, and if there is anything that Ballotpedia will need to do to assist you, please include that information in the same file as your cover letter.
Ballotpedia interns will work remotely, as all Ballotpedia staff work remotely. To join Ballotpedia, you must have a well-functioning computer with Internet access. Ballotpedia uses Google Applications (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive and more) to accomplish our goals. Some familiarity with Google Applications is helpful.
Interns will be compensated at $12.00 per hour.
Please note: If the minimum wage in your area is more than $12.00 per hour, you will be compensated in accordance with your area’s minimum wage.
To apply, visit the Ballotpedia job opportunities page and fill out the form.
Please attach the following in PDF format:
• cover letter which states your area of preference* (Editorial, Communications, Tech, or Outreach), including the contact information for two professional references
• non-partisan writing sample (under five pages) Note: please include this in the same file as your cover letter
Please ensure that either your resume or your cover letter include your current address.
*Note that your request doesn’t guarantee placement.