In Action

Internship Overview

Swing Left Greater Boston, in conjunction with grassroots volunteers across New England, is conducting a summer program of evidence-based interventions to encourage low frequency voters to apply for absentee ballots and to follow them through the voting process to ensure that their votes will be counted. 

People of color, young people and unmarried women represent nearly ⅔ of the voting eligible population in this country, but in November 2020, they may cast less than half the ballots in the most important election of our lives. Americans are facing unprecedented threats to the vote, including a global pandemic and voter suppression tactics at all levels of government. The outcome of the 2020 elections could well be determined not by how Americans vote, but by which Americans vote.

We are seeking a cohort of highly motivated, self-directed, summer interns to work with us on designing and implementing volunteer-run vote by mail registration programs encompassing a range of tactics, including direct mail, phone calls, texting and social media. These are full-time 40 hour per week uncompensated positions. The interns must have strong organizational, interpersonal, technical and research skills, and have a passion for social change.

Organizational Overview

Swing Left Greater Boston is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in New England. Completely volunteer-run, it has a weekly newsletter that goes out to 9,000 subscribers, a publication exclusively for grassroots leaders, and provides a comprehensive event calendar as a service to dozens of organizations across Massachusetts.

Swing Left Greater Boston creates effective activism campaigns at meaningful scale. In the age of Covid, our vote by mail postcard campaign encourages Democrats to sign up for absentee ballots in two critical states, Florida and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile our in-house research team conducts ongoing investigations to assess the effectiveness of these mailings. We’ve recently published our second research paper demonstrating the effectiveness of sending vote by mail registration applications to likely Democratic voters.

Work Plan

The interns will spend ten weeks this summer, during the period of June 1 – August 7, working collaboratively on vote by mail projects in Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina, including:

  • Learning about ongoing efforts to boost vote by mail – what’s working and what’s not — in battleground states across the country
  • Interviewing local organizers and election officials
  • Analyzing electoral data at the county level, including changes in party affiliation over time, and the effects of gerrymandering on turnout
  • Obtaining current information on vote by mail registration in swing counties
  • Creating vote by mail analyses, including key recommendations, for selected swing counties
  • Designing programs, including a research component, for vote by mail registration
  • Working with grassroots volunteers and groups to implement these programs and measure their effectiveness

This internship is unfunded, and we encourage you to seek funding from your universities.

This internship is remote.

Required qualifications:

  • Majoring in the social sciences, or a related field.
  • Be willing to commit 40 hours per week.
  • Have good organizational skills and a commitment to detail.
  • Have good communication skills.

How to apply: Email a cover letter and resume to Susan Labandibar

(susan@swingleftboston.org).

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