Summer Democracy Internships at FairVote Minnesota

About FairVote Minnesota: FairVote Minnesota is leading the Ranked Choice Voting nonprofit in Minnesota. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a simple but powerful reform that allows voters to rank the candidates in order of preference. It gives voters more choice and power,...

LETTER: Multitude of candidates begs for ranked choice voting

If there were ever an election poster child for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), the special election to replace First Congressional District Representative Jim Hagedorn is it. With 10 Republicans competing against each other on the primary ballot — and similarly eight...

For Immediate Release: Rally for Democracy at the Minnesota State Capitol with Gov. Walz and Congressional and State Legislative Reform Champions

Contact: Erin Zamoff, FairVote Minnesota Director of Communications and Public Affairs, 952-334-8313  Rally for Democracy at the Minnesota State Capitol with Gov. Walz and Congressional and State Legislative Reform Champions St. Paul (May 2, 2022) -- It is becoming...

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February 4, 2022

We’re Hiring for 2022!

FairVote Minnesota is a leading nonprofit organization in the movement for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), one of the most significant political reforms in generations. From giving voters more choice to ensuring candidates with majority support to reducing polarization in...
January 14, 2022

Caucus for Ranked Choice Voting, Feb. 1

The anniversary of the January 6th attack on our nation’s Capitol reminded us that our democracy is fragile and the rules of our elections matter more than ever. To build a more inclusive, diverse, responsive, and less polarizing democracy, we need to empower voters...
January 5, 2022

FairVote MN statement on the anniversary of January 6

Our worst fears about our democracy were realized a year ago today. The horrific events, and those responsible for them, are a stain on our history and our democracy.  A year later, the former president and his allies continue to foment the Big Lie about a stolen 2020...

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We’re Hiring for 2022!

FairVote Minnesota is a leading nonprofit organization in the movement for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), one of the most significant political reforms in generations. From giving voters more choice to ensuring candidates with majority support to reducing polarization in our politics, RCV is transforming politics in Minnesota and across the country. We are hiring a team of organizers to help us expand RCV in Minnesota. We seek committed, dynamic team members who have experience successfully working with diverse populations. FairVote Minnesota is a nonpartisan public interest organization committed to promoting inclusive voting systems that foster greater choice, competition, participation, and representation.

All positions are subject to renewed annual funding in 2022 and to the outcome of the 2022 elections in November. The main areas of focus for our work in 2022 include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Legislative Campaign
  • 2022 Candidate Campaign Program Campaign
  • Ongoing Statewide Outreach and Education Campaign

FairVote Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to recruit, hire, train, promote and administer any and all personnel actions without regard to sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, ethnic identity, disability, or any other legally protected basis. Email a resume and cover letter to Karl.landskroener@fairvotemn.org to apply.

 

Field Manager

Overview

The Field Manager will report to the Political Director and be the primary manager of FairVote Minnesota field organizers for our legislative and 2022 Candidate Program in support of Ranked Choice Voting. The Field Manger will advise on strategy for targeted districts, set metrics and goals for outreach, and ensure those goals are met by the field team. FairVote Minnesota is looking for a strong leader with a commitment to a diverse and inclusive democracy who has excellent communications skills, is responsive and works well in a fast-paced campaign environment.

Responsibilities

  • Assist the Political Director in implementing and managing a comprehensive statewide field plan that includes data-informed goals, clear metrics for evaluating progress, research-guided tactics and program timelines.
  • Manage multiple layers of staff including organizers, interns and volunteers.
  • Create a professional, enthusiastic, and inclusive work environment and culture among field staff and volunteers.
  • Establish a culture of accountability where staff and volunteers reach benchmarks and goals for success.
  • Work collaboratively with other members of the senior leadership team to integrate field, fundraising, and communications.
  • Communicate with campaign leadership on success, pitfalls, and needs of the field program.
  • Recruiting, managing, training and mentoring interns and volunteers for direct voter, supporter and volunteer contacts including: phone calls, data entry, and online events and, when possible, in-person door knocks, tabling, house parties, and other events.
  • Engaging in and supporting direct field work, including direct voter contacts, as needed.
  • Other campaign related tasks and duties as assigned by the campaign manager, as needed.

Qualifications

  • At least three campaign cycles of field experience on candidate or issue-based campaigns.
  • At least one campaign cycle managing staff and volunteers on candidate or issue-based campaigns.
  • Experience managing a GOTV operation.
  • Experience with using VAN, Microsoft Office, Google Suite.
  • Familiarity with or ability to quickly learn Minnesota campaign finance and compliance laws.
  • Commitment to the Ranked Choice Voting movement.
  • Knowledge of and interest in Minnesota politics, especially the endorsement and primary process.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with people in writing and in person.
  • Willingness to work in a fast-paced and demanding but fulfilling environment which includes evening and weekend hours.
  • A competitive mindset focused on meeting and exceeding goals.
  • Ability to maintain a professional and calm demeanor at all times.
  • Ability to focus on multiple projects at once.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently.
  • Highly organized, detail oriented, and excellence-focused.
  • Desire to have own transportation and be available to set up and attend work related events.

Pay and benefits

  • This position is a management, nonunion position.
  • Starting Pay: $58,000/year, pro-rated for part-time employees; negotiable
  • Generous health and dental insurance, PTO and Holidays for full and part-time employees
  • FairVote MN will provide 403(b) plan for employees to voluntarily contribute savings utilizing paycheck reductions.

Position: Field Organizer

Classification: Regular, Full or Part Time

Overview

Field Organizers will report to the Field Manager and be responsible for being the main point of contact between FairVote Minnesota, and volunteers and voters. Organizers will work in targeted senate districts with the goal of helping elect a state house and senate that will support Ranked Choice Voting statewide in the 2023 legislative session. An ideal candidate is someone who can work both independently and with a team, is very responsive, and able to adapt to a fast-paced campaign environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

All duties and responsibilities relate to the areas of work in 2022 as described above.

  • Executing all aspects of the field program and meeting voter contact goals through direct voter contact calls, volunteer recruitment calls, volunteer trainings, and when possible, tabling, door knocks and in-person events.
  • Recruiting, training and managing volunteers and volunteer teams for direct voter, supporter and volunteer contacts including: phone calls, data entry, and online events and, when possible, in-person door knocks, tabling, house parties, and other events.
  • Building and maintaining positive relationships with volunteers, leaders and supporters in your region through meetings, calls and other contacts.
  • Meeting campaign and regional goals for metrics and programs outlined by the Data Director.
  • Reaching out to legislators and constituents in targeted legislative districts through calls, emails, social media and, when possible, in-person events to advance RCV at the legislature and further a positive relationship with FairVote Minnesota and its goals.
  • Assisting with grassroots fundraising efforts, including phone calls, mailings, and events.
  • Assisting with coalition building efforts, reaching out to organizations to build and maintain relationships to advance mutual organizational goals.
  • Assuming other responsibilities as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Experience as an organizer or volunteer on candidate or issue-based campaigns.
  • Experience working with campaign volunteers, canvassers and/or phone bankers.
  • Commitment to the Ranked Choice Voting movement.
  • Knowledge of and interest in Minnesota politics, especially the endorsement and primary process.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with people in writing and in person.
  • A competitive mindset focused on meeting and exceeding goals.
  • Ability to maintain a professional and calm demeanor at all times.
  • Ability to focus on multiple projects at once.
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team.
  • Ability to work irregular hours, including nights and weekends.
  • Access to reliable transportation and a smartphone. OR Must have own transportation and be available to set up and attend work related events.
  • Experience in volunteer recruitment and management preferred.

Pay and benefits

  • This position is a union organizing position, supervised by FairVote MN’s Director of Data & Research, and represented by the Minnesota Newspaper & Communications Guild, TNG-CWA Local 37002.
  • Starting Pay: $43,500/year, pro-rated for part-time employees
  • Generous health and dental insurance, PTO and Holidays for full and part-time employees
  • FairVote MN will provide 403(b) plan for employees to voluntarily contribute savings utilizing paycheck reductions.

 

Internship Opportunities

Each Spring, Summer and Fall, we have a number of exciting volunteer internship opportunities for college students seeking internships to get first hand experience in the areas of organizing, communications, and data systems as well as being on the front lines of electoral reform. We can design an internship that meets your areas of interest and experience and will work with you to receive credit for your internship if that is available. We want your experience to help you build the skills and credit you need to advance your academic and career goals.

Applicants should generally be available to work 10 hours or more per week. Work can be remote, in the field at events, or in the office at 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul, when Covid safety protocols allow. If you have transportation and would like to work events, we will reimburse you for travel expenses. The internship positions are unpaid, but available for credit at your institution of study.

Ranked Choice Voting Field Intern

The Field Intern will work with the Organizing Team or other organizational leadership at FairVote Minnesota as a critical team member in FairVote Minnesota’s voter education and outreach efforts. This position may be fully remote or include some in person organizing events, depending on interest and safety protocols. We welcome interns from a variety of college majors or backgrounds to apply.

Depending on interest and Covid safety requirements, intern tasks may include the following:

  • voter outreach, including phone banking, canvassing, and if Covid safety protocols allow, tabling at community events;
  • helping to educate voters across the state about RCV;
  • data entry and tracking organizing progress;
  • preparing and assisting with communications in traditional and digital media.

Key competencies of a successful intern: flexibility in a rapidly changing campaign season; strong interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills, a team-oriented attitude, and a passion for connecting with folks and empowering them to rank their vote. Availability during evenings and weekends, and fluency in languages other than English spoken in the Twin Cities Metro is a plus.

FairVote Minnesota provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Candidates who identify as members of historically underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply. A diverse workforce and open culture are at the heart of our organization and vital to our success.

 

Caucus for Ranked Choice Voting, Feb. 1

The anniversary of the January 6th attack on our nation’s Capitol reminded us that our democracy is fragile and the rules of our elections matter more than ever. To build a more inclusive, diverse, responsive, and less polarizing democracy, we need to empower voters with more choice and more voice, and ensure winning candidates are supported by and responsive to a majority of voters. 

The recent elections in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Minnetonka, and St. Louis Park — and more than 30 cities across the country — have shown that Ranked Choice Voting does just this. And now voters across the state want to bring this commonsense reform statewide; it’s a small change to the ballot but one that has the powerful potential to transform our politics for the better.

In order to pass RCV statewide, we need to elect democracy champions who will make Ranked Choice Voting a top priority once they take office. Our opportunity to elect democracy champions in November starts at caucuses on Feb. 1. 

Can we count on you to be there?

Where to find my caucus

Here’s information from three of the major parties we found about caucusing:

DFL: DFL caucusers caucus online if you can’t be there in person. The MN DFL is allowing in person and/or online caucusing this year to accommodate the COVID situation. See rules hereAnd find your precinct caucus here. 

GOP:   The caucus information for the GOP can be found here. No news yet about online caucuses for GOP caucusers.

See list of all parties here and stay tuned for more information about how they are holding their caucuses. 

What to expect at caucus

Caucuses are the first step of getting involved in helping elect pro-RCV candidates this year. At caucuses, you’ll be able to:

1. Submit a resolution in favor of RCV. Click here to download the resolution for the DFL caucus and here to download if you’re caucusing with another party and take the resolution to your caucus or send it in online. For the DFL, all resolutions submitted will advance to the next step in the process.

2. Volunteer to become a delegate to your Senate District convention this spring (from there, you can vie to become a delegate to the state convention in June). This is a very important step. We need RCV advocates to continue all the way through the process and help make RVC a priority issue in the party endorsement process!

Don’t worry if you’ve never caucused before. We’ll be sure you’re trained and ready to go! You just need to sign up now, and we’ll be in touch with all the details.

Keep up to date on any changes to the caucus process here.

THANK YOU for taking this very important step to help us win RCV in Minnesota. The future of our democracy depends on volunteers like you.

Your FairVote MN team

FairVote MN statement on the anniversary of January 6

Our worst fears about our democracy were realized a year ago today. The horrific events, and those responsible for them, are a stain on our history and our democracy. 

A year later, the former president and his allies continue to foment the Big Lie about a stolen 2020 election and have redoubled efforts across the country to restrict voting rights and undermine trust in our elections.

On this anniversary, FairVote Minnesota stands in solidarity with our fellow citizens who are standing up for democracy. 

We remain committed to strengthening and reforming our democratic institutions to give voters more choice and more power over their democracy and to ensure that our political leaders are elected by and responsive to the majority of voters. Our plurality electoral system allows candidates to win with a small base of voters, and many leaders take office representing their base and ignoring the demands of the majority of Americans. Extremism and gridlock are the result.

At FairVote Minnesota, we are working  to reform our electoral system to directly address this political polarization and extremism and produce the diverse, inclusive, representative, and responsive political leadership required to lead our country into the future. Ranked Choice Voting is a simple and achievable nonpartisan change that can transform our democracy for the better.

We stand ready and resolved to strengthen our democracy.

2021 Bloomington by the Numbers

RANKED CHOICE VOTING BY THE NUMBERS

2021 Key Bloomington Election Findings
By every measure, Ranked Choice Voting was a success in the 2021 municipal election. The numbers tell the story and underscore voters’ support for RCV.

SUMMARY

  • 77% of voters found RCV simple to use
  • 61% of voters said they like and want to continue using RCV
  • 70% of voters ranked their ballots
  • 87% of voters were satisfied with their candidate choices
  • Increased diversity of candidates
  • Fewer than 10% of voters felt candidates spent most of their time criticizing opponents
  • Range of political diversity

 KEY FINDINGS

  • Turnout was 15,503 (26.06%) – slightly higher than 4 years earlier, the last municipal election without a mayoral race.
  • Incumbent candidates Nathan Coulter and Patrick Martin earned first, second and third-choice support to win. They picked up 38% and 34%, respectively, of reallocated ballots.
  • Two of the three races went to a runoff (or reallocation).
  • There was a slight increase of 1 percent overall in citywide turnout from 2017 to 2021, with the greatest increase in the two districts with competitive council races:
Race 2017 Turnout 2021 Turnout
District 3 City Council 27% 28.8%
District 4 City Council 17.9% 20%

 

  • 77% of polled voters said they found RCV very simple, or somewhat simple to use, according to an exit poll by Edison Research.
    • While younger voters aged 18-34 (84%) found RCV simple to use, 70% of voters aged 55 and older said they found it simple to use as well.
    • Income and education did not impact ease of RCV use:
      • 81% of voters with a college education and 70% of voters without higher education found RCV to be simple to use.
      • 83% of voters of color found RCV to be simple to use, underscoring – once again – that voters of color understand RCV and are adept at using it.

         

  • 73% of polled voters across all age, income, education and ethnic groups said they were familiar with RCV before going to the polls. This demonstrates the importance and success of the outreach and education efforts undertaken by FairVote Minnesota, the City of Bloomington, candidates and the media to prepare voters for Election Day.
  • 87% of voters were satisfied with their candidate choices. RCV improves voter satisfaction by decreasing incentives for negative campaigning, encouraging issue-focused campaigns, and enabling a broader slate of candidates.
  • Increased diversity: More than half of the candidates were women or people of color, and voters elected a woman and the first openly gay member to the open seat on the Bloomington City Council. By eliminating low-turnout, unrepresentative local primaries, RCV encourages a broad and diverse spectrum of candidates to run and build winning coalitions.
  • Voters like it: 61% of all voters want to continue to use RCV in future municipal elections, 10 points higher than when the RCV ballot measure passed in 2020.
  • High levels of support for RCV in Bloomington exist among nonwhite, lower-income and less educated voters (people whom critics claimed wouldn’t understand or like RCV) with 70.4% of people of color desiring RCV for future use. 
  • Fewer than 10% of voters felt candidates spent most of their time criticizing opponents. While we don’t have polling from previous elections to compare this to, the fact that more than 90 percent of voters this cycle believed that candidates didn’t spend most of their time going negative on their opponents is hopeful in a time of hyper negative campaigns, and we hope to see it repeated in the next cycle. RCV helps combat negative campaigning because candidates must reach beyond their base for second- and third-choice votes and campaign toward a majority of voters. Indeed, this year, Bloomington voters saw competing candidates campaign together, ask for second-choice votes from their opponents’ supporters, and temper their negative campaigning.
  • There was a range of political diversity and nuance not often seen in recent municipal elections. The candidates spanned the political spectrum, from progressive to moderate to conservative. Voters ranked candidates as second or third choices who differed from their primary political beliefs but who they found acceptable. The opportunity to express non-binary political nuance in this way is why RCV is showing the promise of mitigating the kind of polarization that is hindering our democracy. 

 

Prepared by FairVote Minnesota Foundation, December 2021  

Sources: 

Secretary of State Election Results

Edison Research in-person exit poll among 631 Bloomington voters in wards 3 and 4 using a weighted design to ensure an accurate representation of election day voters. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level for the full Bloomigton sample of voters is +/-4.

2021 Minneapolis by the Numbers

RANKED CHOICE VOTING BY THE NUMBERS
2021 Key Minneapolis Election Findings

By every measure, Ranked Choice Voting was a resounding success in the 2021 municipal election. The numbers tell the story and underscore voters’ consistent and overwhelming support for RCV.

SUMMARY 

  • 54% of voters turned out
  • 54% of city council members will be women
  • 62% of city council members will be people of color
  • 88% of voters found RCV simple to use
  • 73% of voters ranked their ballots
  • 76% of voters said they like and want to continue using RCV
  • Range of politically diverse candidates 

KEY FINDINGS

  • Turnout in Minneapolis was 145,337 (54%) – the highest for a municipal election in over 45 years and a more than 27% increase over the turnout in 2017. Since Minneapolis began using RCV in 2009, the city has experienced a steady and significant increase in voter turnout.
  • Overall, ten out of the 25 municipal races went to a runoff, or reallocation: The mayoral race; city council races in Wards 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10; Park Board Districts 2, 6 and At-Large; and the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BOE) seats. Incumbents won two of these seats, and incumbents lost four. There were four open seats that went to runoffs: one park board seat, one council seat, and two BOE seats.

In all but one race, the candidate in the lead in the first round won in the runoff. In Park Board District Ward 6, Cathy Abene, who placed second in the first round, garnered a majority of the vote in the final round.

  • In competitive council races that were decided by second- and third-choice votes, we saw the highest rates of increased voter turnout, demonstrating that turnout increases when voters believe their vote matters:

Race

2017 Turnout

2021 Turnout

Percent Turnout Increase Over 2017

Ward 1 City Council

44.9%

57.4%

27.7%

Ward 2 City council

39.7%

55.8%

16.1%

Ward 5 City Council 

28%

33.1%

18.3%

Ward 9 City Council 

43.1%

49.5%

14.8%

Ward 10 City Council 

37.8%

48.8%

29%

 

  • Minneapolis city leadership is more diverse than ever before:
      • People of color represent a majority of the Minneapolis City Council for the first time in history.
      • Women represent a majority of city council (7 out of 13 councilmembers), including Andrea Jenkins, a Black transgender woman who was reelected and is likely to be elected council president.
      • The second Somali-American and first Latino members elected to the council were reelected, and the first Pakistani member was elected this year. 
      • Women represent seven of nine park board seats.
  • This year women and people of color ran competitively in nearly every race.
      • In 86% offices up for election across the city, a woman and/or person of color either won or ran a competitive campaign.
      • A woman or person of color won in 76% (19 of 25) of the seats up for election.
  • There was also a significant range of political diversity, from very progressive to moderate to conservative candidates in the mayoral and city council races. Voters ranked candidates as second or third choices who may have differed from their primary political beliefs but who they found acceptable. The opportunity to express non-binary political preferences in this way and ensuring candidates built broad coalitions to win is important at a time of growing political polarization.
  • A whopping 88% of polled voters said they found RCV very simple, or somewhat simple to use, according to an exit poll by Edison Research.
      • While younger voters ages 18-34 (93%) found RCV simple to use, 79% of voters aged 55 and older said they found it simple to use as well.
      • Income and education did not impact ease of RCV use:
  • 88.5% of voters with a college education and 87.5% of voters without higher education found RCV to be simple to use.
  • 88.7% of voters with an income above $50,000 and 87.6% of voters with an income under $50,000 found RCV to be easy.
  • 83.4% of voters of color found RCV to be simple to use, underscoring – once again – that voters of color understand RCV and are adept at using it.
  • 84% of polled voters across all age, income, education and ethnic groups said they were familiar with RCV before going to the polls. This is up from 77% in 2017 demonstrating the importance and success of the outreach and education efforts undertaken by FairVote Minnesota, the City of Minneapolis, candidates and the media to prepare voters for Election Day.
  • The valid ballot error race was an impressive 99.9996%, demonstrating high levels of voter confidence and proficiency in ranking their ballots. 
  • Voters like it: 76% of all voters want to continue to use RCV in future municipal elections and 69 percent would like to see it used for state elections.
      • High levels of support for RCV in Minneapolis exists among older, nonwhite, lower income and less educated voters (people whom critics claimed wouldn’t understand or like RCV), with a vast majority in all demographic groups saying they want to see RCV continue to be used in future city elections.
  • Voters understood and used the power of RCV: 73% ranked a second choice in the mayoral race, and 47% ranked all three of their available choices in the mayoral race
  • Voters for the second and third place finishers in the mayoral race ranked their ballots at an incredibly high rate – 93% and 95% respectively. 88% of voters who chose someone other than the incumbent ranked their ballots. 
      • This data shows that voters are sophisticated in completing their ballot, ranking when they believe that their favorite candidate may be eliminated in the runoff and that their second and potential third choice will matter. 
      • It’s not surprising to see that fewer of the incumbent’s voters ranked as they anticipated he would remain viable in the final round.   
  • High rates of ranking consistently occurred across competitive, multi-candidate city council and park board races, including wards that are highly diverse and where a large percentage of residents have lower incomes.

 

 

Race

Ranked 2

 Ranked 3

Park Board At-Large  

71%

56%

Ward 2 City Council

77%

45%

Ward 5 City Council 

64%

44%

Ward 10 City Council 

80%

71%

 

  • Winning majorities: RCV requires winning candidates to build broad coalitions of voter support.
    • Mayor Jacob Frey, who won with first, second and third choice support, reached the winning threshold with 56.23% of ballots in the final round (49.08% of initial ballots cast) and was present on 55.92% of all ballots. Kate Knuth was present on 47.82%, and Sheila Nezhad was on 41.33% of all ballots.
    • In the council races, 8 of the 13 contests were decided in the initial round. Five went to a runoff with close outcomes in each race. In these five races, the winners were present on a majority of the voters’ ballots and won with the following percentages in the final round:
      • Ward 1 – Elliott Payne – 52.53%
      • Ward 2 – Robin Wonsley Worlobah – 50.12%
      • Ward 3 – Michael Rainville – 54.97%
      • Ward 5 – Jeremiah Ellison – 51.12%
      • Ward 10 – Aisha Chughtai 59.95%

Prepared by FairVote Minnesota Foundation, December 2021  

Sources:

City of Minneapolis Election Results

Edison Research in-person exit poll at randomly selected voting precincts among 1380 Minneapolis voters using a weighted design to ensure an accurate representation of election day voters. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level for the full Minneapolis sample of voters is +/-3.

 

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