Job Opportunities

Join us in our mission to save democracy.



Vote Smart maintains a modest staff primarily composed of recent college graduates dedicated to our mission of voter education and candidate accountability. All staff commit to work through the next general election, at a minimal salary. The Vote Smart pledge, signed by all staff, commits individuals to absolute impartiality, respect and deference toward all citizens, and professional integrity.

It is essential that all applicants believe in Vote Smart's mission. The contributions you make to your country and the extensive experience you gain will make it worthwhile. Vote Smart provides medical benefits, as well as the most extraordinary experience of your life!

If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please send your cover letter, resume and three references to researchjobs@votesmart.org for Research positions or jobs@votesmart.org for other positions. Please indicate the position for which you are applying.

Unless otherwise noted, all positions are in Des Moines, IA, at our Drake University office. Vote Smart is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please see our Equal Opportunity Policy for more details.




Director of Elections Research

Description:

Your country has never needed you more. With so many fellow citizens consumed by anger and cynicism, we take a different road. Vote Smart may actually be the most positive, uplifting and sorely-needed creation of our time.

As misinformation continues to plague political dialogue, Vote Smart is continuing toward a brighter future by providing nonpartisan political facts to the public. Research Directors are the primary drivers of this effort, overseeing the thousands of hours of research that are delivered to over 13 million users in the 2020 elections. As a political research non-profit organization, VoteSmart’s Directors play an integral role in supporting staff and research goals to ensure proficient and effective education to the millions of voters who harness the power of truth through our work.

Responsibilities:

The Director of Elections Research is primarily responsible for the oversight and coordination of several research programs: currently, Elections Monitoring, Biographies/Profiles, Political Courage Test/Issue Positions, and Campaign Finance. The Director may also be responsible for other tasks that encompass several programs or Vote Smart's research more broadly. Specific responsibilities include:

Reporting to the National Director on work completed, goals met, and any problems encountered or projected for the relevant research programs
Making sure all research is accurate, uniform, and up to Vote Smart’s data standards
Planning the resource needs/goals of the programs, including: interns needed; what each program should expect to complete and when; and what, if any, additional resources are necessary for our research goals
Providing training to new staff and interns, as necessary
Assisting Responses to questions and issues with candidates via the politicalcourage@ email and candidate phone line.
Supervising staff in the relevant programs, which includes:
Reviewing staff time off requests
Assigning interns to specific staff/programs
Evaluating staff performance
Troubleshooting (initially) any and all problems encountered by staff

Requirements:

An ideal applicant will be able to strategically prioritize the various goals of each program, and coordinate those goals with the Director of Officials Research, the Director of Membership, the IT Director, and the National Director. You will need to create your own work docket based on the mission of the programs under your supervision and be able to effectively delegate larger projects to programs or individuals. Strong day-to-day and long-term organizational skills are a necessity, as well as effective communications skills, both for internal and external settings.

TO APPLY:
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to jobs@votesmart.org

Research Associate

Description:

Research Associates are the backbone of Vote Smart's efforts. Research Associates will be matched to assignments based on their demonstrated abilities and in accordance with the shifting needs of a growing, election-oriented organization. Exceptional applicants may find themselves with opportunities to help manage and develop program areas within months of their start date.

Responsibilities:

Examples of programs that the researcher may be involved with are:
-Candidates and Officials: The first step to connecting citizens to their government is making it easy for them to find out who their candidates and representatives actually are, what their roles are, and how to contact them. Researchers for this program are responsible for making sure that at any given time, our roster of tens of thousands of officials mirrors those currently in office. Other tasks may include inputting biographical information, contact information, committee assignments, and leadership positions.
-Political Courage Test: Vote Smart challenges candidates to tell voters where they stand on the issues, but when candidates don't have the courage, we answer the questions for them. Researchers may be involved with: administering Political Courage Tests to candidates through mailings, email, and phone contacts; inputting candidate responses in our database; and collecting evidence for and determining candidates' issue positions.
-Legislative Research: Vote Smart makes it easy to see how representatives act in office, summarizing in plain language the key votes made in all 50 states and Congress. Researchers for this program may be involved with tracking the progress of legislation in several states, reading and summarizing legislation, and entering in the votes made by representatives.
-Interest Group Ratings: Vote Smart collects performance evaluations of public officials from hundreds of interest groups on the state and national level. Researchers for this program retrieve and normalize these evaluations, as well as collect information about the interest groups to provide context. A Researcher with strong numeracy will get the most out of this program.
-Public Statements: From climate change to how they feel about the business down the street, Vote Smart maintains a warehouse of every public utterance made by key politicians. Researchers are responsible for collecting, classifying, formatting, and inputting these statements.
-Public Engagement: Not everyone will gravitate to and make sense of Vote Smart's vast database on their own, so our researchers are often involved in answering our Voter's Research Hotline, researching special requests made by those who call or write, highlighting data relevant to the events of the day on various platforms, and visualizing our data.

Requirements:

Ideal applicants will have a good understanding of government and politics, a solid knowledge of current events, experience in researching political issues, exceptional web searching skills, good written and oral communication skills, and experience with normalizing data. Those that are highly self-motivated, willing to help out wherever needed, organized, detailed-oriented, committed to self-improvement, and in possession of a strong work ethic do not need to have related experience.

TO APPLY:
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to jobs@votesmart.org

Membership Associate

Description:

Help defend democracy by joining our team of dedicated staff working to create a political culture of transparency and facts. In this age of fake news, media bias, and political drama, Vote Smart ensures that citizens have access to the tools that they need to make educated political decisions.

Vote Smart, a nonpartisan/nonprofit political research organization, is seeking a Membership Associate. This position entails primarily communications and data management duties.

Vote Smart, founded by Presidents Carter, Ford, and other national leaders, is a non-profit national research center that collects accurate and factual information on over 40,000 political leaders. Our goal is to empower voters with access to a vast library of reliable, nonpartisan, factual political information. Your job will be to help get this message to millions of Americans. Watch our video to learn more: https://votesmart.org/about#video

Responsibilities:

Daily data entry of incoming donations, assisting with depositing incoming money
Daily, frequent correspondence with Vote Smart members & ambassadors over phone & email
Assisting with thank you mailings and fulfilling materials requests
Researching and assisting with new outreach campaigns
Assisting the Membership Director as needed

Requirements:

A strong interest in politics; ability to set politics aside and write in a nonpartisan manner
Articulate verbal and good writing skills are essential
Strong editing skills
Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to externally communicate courteously and effectively
Effective time management skills; ability to keep oneself organized without supervision
Comfort in making cold-calls when necessary
Photography, graphic design, and videography experience is a bonus
An outgoing & positive attitude!

TO APPLY:
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to jobs@votesmart.org

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