Project Vote Smart now looking for interns



    BYU students who are interested in an internship with a nonprofit organization that provides factual information about politicians and their background to voters have scholarship money available to them.

    Project Vote Smart provides voters with information they need in order to protect themselves from manipulative and misleading political campaigns, said Ann Yoders, national intern coordinator.

    Students find out factual information about politicians such as where they were educated, the way they voted on different issues, their voting records and background information, she said.

    The project also sends out a national political awareness test every year. It is a survey with different questions on different issues to politicians. The results of this survey are given to the people, Yoders said.

    “Project Vote Smart provides unbiased, nonpartisan, factual information to people to make them more informed voters, so they can take more responsibility in the election process,” Yoders said.

    As long as students qualify for the National Internship Program they can receive a scholarship, she said.

    Students have to fill out an application on a scholarship request form, provide three references, a writing sample and a current resume, Yoders said.

    Students also have to be in good standing with their university to apply for the scholarship, she said.

    Although Project Vote Smart targets political science, communications, journalism and computer science majors, it accepts applications from all majors, Yoders said.

    Students who qualify as an intern receive no less than $1,000. However, many times students get confused and think that the scholarship money is for their schooling but this is not the case, Yoders said.

    The scholarship money is primarily a help for living expenses while the students are either in Boston or Corvallis, Ore., Yoders said.

    Housing arrangements are not included in the scholarship money given to the students, Yoders said.

    Students have to work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, and are expected to spend at least eight to 10 weeks with the program to receive credit for the internship, said Elise Senter, director of the voter research hot line.

    Interns also agree to give out the information and not to tell people how to interpret the information, Senter said.

    As November elections approach, Project Smart will be opened seven days a week, giving students more flexibility to arrange their schedules, Yoders said.

    Students can do an internship in the Project Vote Smart this spring, summer or fall, Yoders said.

    If students are interested they may contact Ann Yoders at (541) 737-3760 or through e-mail: .

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