Ballotpedia is a collaborative team of fast learners and creative problem solvers who are eager to work hard to make the world a better place. We believe the world will be a better place if every citizen has access to information to make informed decisions about their vote in every election in which they are eligible to vote: primary, general, and special elections; federal, state, and local offices.
We work diligently to present the available information about elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, policies, 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.
When we launched in 2007, we did not go out of our way to seek new readers. Starting with our small team of visionary idealists, nerds, and aspiring political journalists, we just wrote the best unbiased online articles we could, especially about ballot measures. Readers found those articles in droves. It turns out there was an unclaimed audience out there—people who wanted straightforward facts about political issues, and were willing to read at length instead of just scanning the headlines.
“If you build it, they will come:'' our readers came to our neutral oasis in growing numbers; we’ve had many millions of lifetime pageviews, we reached nearly half of all voters in 2020, and, in the month surrounding the November 2020 election, we were the 77th most-visited website in the U.S.
We’ve come to realize that we need to meet our readers where they are. In doing so, over the past five years, we’ve grown our email newsletter program from infancy to include more than 2,000,000 opt-in subscribers with more than a dozen newsletters to choose from. We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral information in front of people at the times when they most need it, including on mobile phones while you’re standing in the voting booth. We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help them cultivate, are essential in a world where too many others are fighting to get us all addicted to sensational posts and the irrational decisions they foster.
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.Intern Testimonial
"Working as a tech intern at Ballotpedia is one of the highlights of my year. It’s challenging, but I’ve been afforded the opportunity to work with some of the most professional and courteous staff members I’ve ever met. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about database structure and management, web design and even digital map drawing. The experience to be gained from working at Ballotpedia is invaluable for a multitude of careers ranging from IT and software development to database administration."
— Eric Huang, 2019 Fall/2020 Spring/Summer 2020 InternDescription
As a Ballotpedia Data Engineering Intern, you will work with the Tech team to develop automated ETL workflows to process data used for local election coverage. We will be looking at official election data sources and developing reusable processes to acquire this data, convert it to a standard format, and import it into our database. This will help Ballotpedia’s coverage scale to more municipalities in order to better educate voters.
This will involve:
- Creating and modifying Python scripts
- Working with spreadsheets
- Scraping candidate data from official sources
- Developing processes to convert data into a standard format
- Running processes to ingest data into a database
- Testing, QA, and manual review
- Conducting online research and some manual data entry
You will learn about elections administration, web scraping, and working with data, while surrounded by a small, enthusiastic, and open-minded team. Aspiring data scientists, researchers with a programming bent, or back-end software engineers might find this particularly interesting.
Some Python experience is required. Familiarity with some of the following is relevant, though not required: SQL, Google Colab or Jupyter Notebooks, Beautiful Soup, Scrapy, Google Sheets or Excel.
Ballotpedia’s Summer 2023 internship runs from Monday, June 5, 2023 to Friday, August 4, 2023. Ballotpedia’s summer internship is a part-time internship program; interns will work approximately 10-20 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.Environment
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.Compensation
Interns will be compensated at $20.00 per hour.
Please note: If the minimum wage in your area is more than $20.00 per hour, you will be compensated in accordance with your area’s minimum wage.
Please attach the following in PDF format:
- cover letter which states your interest in the Data Engineering internship including:
- the contact information for two professional references
- a statement of what you hope to learn from this internship
- Optional: GitHub repository link and/or other examples of projects you’ve worked on that demonstrate your competencies
Please ensure that either your resume or your cover letter include your current address. Applications that do not include a current address will not be accepted.