JOB: UX Engineer

Location: Anywhere within the U.S.
Target Start Date: June 1, 2018
Salary Range: $82,000 to $130,000 per year (salary offers vary by experience and location-specific cost-of-living adjustment)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous minimum vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Mid- to senior-level

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

What we do
TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. TurboVote has served nearly 2 million voters to date by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including 176 campuses, companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and dozens more. Our other work includes the Voting Information Project, whose polling-place data received 123 million impressions in 2016, an Election Technology Collaborative to provide affordable, voter-centered technology to election administrators, and Ballot Scout, which tracks absentee ballots through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry.

These products are the work of our ten-person (and growing!) developer team. We pair program, collaborate with product managers, and make sure our efforts deliver value to voters. We rotate roles and projects on our team so that everyone gets a variety of experience and working relationships and can bring their unique strengths to as wide a swath of our work as possible. Most of our development involves writing microservices in Clojure running in Docker containers on Kubernetes and hosted on AWS. These services communicate over RabbitMQ and store their data in Datomic. Our users primarily interact with web apps written in ClojureScript and re-frame. We also have projects that use JavaScript, Node, React, Python, and PostgreSQL. 

Where you fit: UX 
As Democracy Works’s first UX/UI engineer, you’ll be helping us establish architecture to standardize how we define new interfaces, as well as the processes to streamline how we put them into production. You’ll work within our developer team and collaborate closely with product leads and our (consulting) designer to ensure that we’re implementing the best possible experience for our users and doing so with navigable, maintainable code.

You will:

  • collaborate with product managers to analyze user feedback, iterate UI/UX, & wireframe new ideas
  • review our backlog of requests and issues to find inspiration for new designs and interfaces
  • weigh in as a stakeholder on product decisions and roadmaps
  • coordinate with our (consulting) graphic designer to define new palettes and visual elements or refresh existing style guides
  • define and maintain CSS and HTML style guides for implementation across our product suite
  • translate wireframes into responsive CSS and HTML
  • ensure that our interfaces are WCAG 2.0 compliant and welcoming to users of all abilities
  • pair with implementing developers to bring these interfaces to life

You are:

  • empathetic, comfortable acting as users’ advocate 
  • systematic, someone who appreciates good architecture and can derive order from chaos
  • obsessively attentive to detail and happy managing the minutiae
  • intrinsically motivated and capable of moving projects forward independently

You have experience:

  • in an agile development environment
  • designing for responsive and mobile interfaces
  • serving users with a wide variety of needs and considerations
  • working across multiple products (this one’s a nice-to-have)

To apply:
Send a short email with resume, addressed to Ben and Wes, at work@democracy.works with the subject line “Will code for democracy” to begin the application process. Please include how you found this job listing. We also encourage all applicants to state their preferred pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works. Qualified candidates who meet the above requirements will have the opportunity to complete an anonymized skills evaluation before we schedule an interview. Based on the application, evaluation results, interviews, and reference checks, one person will be selected for the position.

Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

JOB: Software Developer

Location: Anywhere within the U.S.
Target Start Date: May 15, 2018
Salary Range: $82,000 to $130,000 per year (salary offers vary by experience and location-specific cost-of-living adjustment)
Benefits:
Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous minimum vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Multiple levels, mid through senior

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. TurboVote signed up its millionth voter in 2016 by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including 176 campuses, companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and dozens more. Our other work includes the Voting Information Project, whose polling-place data received 123 million impressions in 2016, an Election Technology Cooperative to provide affordable, voter-centered technology to election administrators, and Ballot Scout, which tracks absentee ballots through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry.

These products are the work of our ten-person developer team. Most of our development involves writing microservices in Clojure running in Docker containers on Kubernetes and hosted on AWS. These services communicate over RabbitMQ and store their data in Datomic. Our users primarily interact with web apps written in ClojureScript and re-frame. We also have projects that use JavaScript, Node, React, Python, and PostgreSQL. We hope you have experience with some of these technologies and are excited to get experience with the rest.

We pair program, collaborate with product managers, and make sure our efforts deliver value to voters. We rotate roles and projects on our team so that everyone gets a variety of experience and working relationships and can bring their unique strengths to as wide a swath of our work as possible.

To apply:
Send a short email with resume, addressed to Chris and Wes, at work@democracy.works with the subject line “Will code for democracy” to begin the application process. Please include how you found this job listing. We also encourage all applicants to state their preferred pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works. Qualified candidates who meet the above requirements will have the opportunity to complete an anonymized skills evaluation before we schedule an interview. Based on the application, evaluation results, interviews, and reference checks, offers will be made to one or more finalist applicants.

Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

The launch of Ace the Midterms

By Emily Giffin

The workday was nearing its end one afternoon in December 2017, and my colleague Sara and I were having a strategy session around how to best support TurboVote partners during the 2018 midterm election season. Sara and I make up the support team for TurboVote’s higher education program, providing best practices and implementation guidance to our 100+ campus partners across the country. And though I remember it being quite dark outside (thanks, winter!), we weren’t ready to call it a day. We knew we hadn’t found our big idea just yet. 

Our aim was to come up with a way to breathe new life into our usual means of partner support: exchanging plenty of emails, strategizing over the phone or via video conference, hosting webinars, presenting at conferences, etc. We wanted to keep doing what works—what our partners expect from us—but with a more creative approach that would motivate and unite our community of TurboVote institutions. Pursuing that notion, we wondered if a campaign or rallying cry might be the answer. 

I walked over to the whiteboard and wrote two column headers: “Students” and “Voting.” Leaning into the safety that comes with a no-bad-ideas brainstorm, we just started listing words associated with being a student and did the same for voting. Soon, we stepped back and pondered the list we had created. 

“Class” … “Homework” … “Elections” … “Ballot” … “Exams” …  

Fueled by coffee and a proclivity for puns, we finally spotted it. Students take midterm exams, students want to ace their midterms, we vote in midterm elections… What about Ace the Midterms? Fast forward past seeking validation from our coworkers who assured us Ace the Midterms not only made sense but was also cool (bonus!), we arrive here:  

AceTheMidterms_graphic_blue_v2.jpg

Ace the Midterms is our campaign to achieve 100,000 TurboVote signups across all of our higher education partners in 2018. Each quarter of the year, our means of support will take on a different theme, starting in the most natural place: setting a goal. 

Right now, we’re encouraging student voter engagement teams across our campuses to set a TurboVote signup goal and share how they will contribute toward our community-wide aim of 100,000 signups. Owing to longstanding partnerships and studies like NSLVE, TurboVote implementers are looking back at data from 2014/2016 and raising the bar, drafting goals like signing up 1,000 students for TurboVote this election season and increasing midterm voting rates by five percentage points. 

Next, we’ll turn our focus toward making a plan and helping campuses put best practices on paper for how they will help students vote during the primaries and into the fall. Some campuses have already done it! Check out these action plans for inspiration, courtesy of ALL IN + TurboVote campuses CCAC and Kennesaw State. No doubt, we’ll blink and it will be back-to-school season followed by my personal favorite holiday, National Voter Registration Day. In the run-up to the election, Sara and I will keep pace with the civic engagement heroes on the ground empowering youth voters, supporting implementers however we can in order to turn plans into action and get out the vote. 

It’s such an exciting time in our democracy, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I believe so strongly in this incredible community of TurboVote campuses because—puns, or no puns—higher education is changing the way we invite young voters into the democratic process. 

But, let’s be honest… Puns make everything better, so let’s #AceTheMidterms together.

JOB: Data Associate, Voting Information Project (VIP)

NOTE: As of May 11, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Location: We’re based in Brooklyn, NY, but we’re open to remote candidates within the US.
Target Start Date: May 28, 2018
Salary Range: $62,000—$76,000 per year (offers will vary based on experience and location/cost-of-living calculations. Range given is for a Brooklyn-based employee.)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; long-term disability; employee assistance program

What we do
At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

The Voting Information Project (VIP) coordinates with state election offices to publish nationally-standardized information about where and how to vote—data that powers everything from Google’s polling place search to our own text message and email reminders to TurboVote users. The data associate will be a part of the VIP team, assisting with collecting, parsing, and assessing a nation’s worth of election data.

Our other projects include TurboVote, which tracks a voter’s elections. We provide all the materials and information they need to get registered, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national—and we’ll even mail forms with an addressed, stamped envelope for the local election office. Ballot Scout helps local election administrators track absentee ballots as they travel through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry.

Where you fit in: Data associate
As the data associate for VIP, you’ll:

  • contribute to a dataset that has served hundreds of millions of voters since 2008
  • create and maintain parsers, quality assurance tools, and data management scripts
  • collaborate with the Democracy Works developer team and Google engineers
  • communicate with county and state election officials about the availability, quality, and status of the information they provide

You are:

  • obsessively attentive to detail, having the ability to resolve issues within complex data sets
  • creative, in a way that recognizes solutions to problems inherent with working with large amounts of information
  • comfortable managing databases and cloud based file stores; including upkeep, maintenance, and storage. Ideally comfortable running data queries and scripts
  • passionate about civic tech and open data
  • happiest working with a team with ability to work independently 
  • comfortable providing customer support, or working with external partners

You (preferably) have experience:

  • working with large, complex datasets including; data cleaning, preparation, and processing (converting pdf files to csv files, re-formatting data in Excel or scripting language, for example) 
  • working in elections, campaigns, or organizing
  • performing quality assurance of datasets, including conformance and completeness 
  • in a highly collaborative team environment
  • following technical instructions and writing documentation

Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience. Democracy Works also offers a benefits package including health insurance, vacation, and a 403(b) retirement plan. We’re based in Brooklyn, NY with remote employees across the United States, and we hope you’ll want to work from our Brooklyn office, though we’ll consider remote arrangements for the right candidate.

To apply:
Send a resume and brief, informal introduction to Franklin and Maria at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will data for democracy.” Please include how you found this job listing. We also encourage all applicants to state their pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

Turning fans into voters: Super Bowl-style

By Mike Ward

 The TurboVote slogan represented well at the Super Bowl. You'd be surprised how inexpensive this advertising was.

The TurboVote slogan represented well at the Super Bowl. You'd be surprised how inexpensive this advertising was.

A month ago, the TurboVote team headed to the Bold North to take part in the fan experience of Super Bowl LII. Before Justin Timberlake’s historic selfie and the Eagles’ equally historic Super Bowl win, we helped football fans get ready to vote. 

The excitement was just setting in as I touched down in Minneapolis for the 2018 Super Bowl. Upon arriving at the convention center, I immediately sensed the excitement and anticipation, even before fans, athletes, and stars from all over the country arrived. Our team was in Minneapolis to support the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). RISE launches initiatives across the country to promote understanding, respect, and equality through an alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks, and sports professionals. In line with that mission and with the 2018 midterms approaching, their RISE to Vote campaign—a national, nonpartisan effort to register professional athletes to vote and lead their fans in becoming informed and engaged citizens—was part of their photo booth activation at the NFL Super Bowl Fan Experience.

 The RISE space at the Super Bowl fan experience.

The RISE space at the Super Bowl fan experience.

Once the fan experience started, it was exciting to see how many fans would walk up and say they were already registered to vote. Fans and players alike appreciated that civic engagement had a place at the Super Bowl and that we were registering voters and working toward a greater cause in partnership with RISE. At one point, three fans who went to college together approached our booth. As they waited in line to take their photo, I asked them if they were registered to vote; two of them answered excitedly “Yes!”, but the third friend showed some hesitation. As good friends do, they immediately started encouraging her to get registered, so I took the opportunity to help her either update her voter registration or register to vote. The experience stuck with me as a quintessential display of the power of one’s peers and how memorable that invitation to engage with democracy can be. That fan can say she got registered to vote at Super Bowl LII, which is not only cool but it also gets you thinking about the variety of experiences that allow us to meet voters where they are and make the connections between voting and what’s important to them.

If we use this relationship by engaging professional sports teams, and fans, this will continue to be another step in increasing fans into regular voters by promoting voter engagement in their everyday lives. Moments spent with the fans and players passing through our booth were about helping democracy fit the way we live, especially when that means attending one of the most-watched events of the year.

The Super Bowl is a fan-focused experience that can mix with missions, such as that of Democracy Works and RISE, to build a community of change. This may have been the first time our team has worked with RISE, but it hopefully won’t be the last. If we are going to have a country that serves everyone, the voices of all need to be heard and when united, we can make that happen. 

JOB: Government Program Lead

NOTE: As of February 27, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Location: We’re based in Brooklyn, NY, but currently have remote staff across the US
Target Start Date: March 1, 2018
Salary Range: $62,000 - $89,000 per year, depending on experience (salary band given for Brooklyn; remote salaries will vary by cost-of-living adjustment)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Junior to Mid-level
Applications Accepted Through: February 18, 2018

Who we are
We’re Democracy Works, a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the idea that voting should fit the way we live today. We’re a team of software developers, public policy wonks, and civic organizers working together to build tools that both voters and election administrators will love.

What we do
We started out in 2010 by building TurboVote, a website that registers voters, guides users through tasks like updating registrations or requesting absentee ballots, and provides timely election reminders so voters don’t forget to vote. In 2014 we expanded our offerings to serve election administrators directly, providing the technology and infrastructure needed to scale best practices and voter-centric innovations nationwide. 

Our work with government
Ballot Scout, our first tool for local election officials, tracks ballots sent through the mail using United States Postal Service Intelligent Mail barcodes. It’s designed to do all the heavy lifting for election administrators, from helping them implement Intelligent Mail barcodes on their mailings to providing a way to monitor mailed ballots via a dashboard of intelligible, actionable tracking data. The tool also includes a public interface, giving voters the opportunity to look up the status of their ballot online and/or sign up for SMS or email updates about their ballot. 

In 2017, we also added election reminders to our offerings for election officials, giving local offices the ability to automate timely text and email messages to voters with personalized information about upcoming elections. These messages contain official information in an easy-to-read format, delivered just when voters need it from an authoritative, nonpartisan source.

In 2018, we’re launching the Election Technology Cooperative, an ambitious, long-term effort by leading election administrators to modernize the development and procurement of US election technology. Working together, we hope to leverage the collective resources of jurisdictions all across the country to build and share innovative, cost-effective election tech. This collaborative approach means jurisdictions can share both the cost and the benefits of an improved voting experience nationwide.

Democracy Works is also the organizational home of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED). NASED is the membership association for election directors in all 50 states and the U.S. territories, and it plays an important role in disseminating best practices and information to its members.  

Where you fit: Government Program Lead 
As the government program lead, you will be responsible for supporting and empowering our government partners. This includes both front-line technical support and community building; we’re looking to you to strengthen existing relationships with the election administrators we serve and work closely with them to ensure they have a positive experience with Democracy Works. As the primary point of contact for our partners, you are their first call (or email) when they have questions or concerns. You’re also their advocate inside the organization, communicating partners’ needs and finding creative solutions when unique problems arise. In 2018, you’ll be helping with implementation of Ballot Scout in multiple states, as well as the rollout of our brand new Government Election Notifications tool. You’ll also be creating content for our various projects, and assisting the NASED Executive Director with website updates and conferences. To be successful, you will need to immerse yourself in the world of election administration, become a trusted resource for our partners, have impeccable attention to detail, and deliver top-notch customer service. 

Your job will include:

  • taking ownership of the onboarding and training of new partners
  • building and maintaining relationships with state and local partners over time
  • managing the day-to-day implementation of our tools, including answering partner questions and fielding bug reports 
  • tracking partner communication and feedback in our CRM 
  • using feedback to develop new trainings, documentation, & best practices 
  • developing and executing an outreach plan to keep our partners engaged 
  • communicating partner needs and pain points to the rest of the team
  • updating basic content on Squarespace websites as needed
  • writing newsletters, blog posts, and other short communications for a broad audience

You are:  

  • a problem-solver with a “yes, and” mentality
  • at home in an agile, fast-paced work environment 
  • dedicated to providing top-notch customer/constituent service 
  • adept at translating ideas for diverse audiences with varying skill sets and levels of expertise
  • a self-starter, willing to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • organized, able to prioritize time effectively and multi-task
  • comfortable with details and nuance
  • eager to learn new technologies and teach others about them
  • capable of working in a nonpartisan manner


You have:

  • a proven track record of meeting or exceeding individual goals
  • excellent written/oral communication skills, including phone presence & presentation skills
  • familiarity with local/state/federal government or another cautious, deliberate work culture
  • experience in customer service or constituent support
  • a passion for elections and democracy
  • willingness to travel

To apply:
Send a short email with resume, addressed to Quinn, to work@democracy.works with the subject line “Will support our democracy” to begin the application process. Please include how you found this job listing. We also encourage all applicants to state their preferred pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works. Qualified candidates who meet the above requirements will have the opportunity to complete an anonymized skills evaluation before we schedule an interview. Based on the application, evaluation results, interviews, and reference checks, one person will be selected for the position. Applications will be accepted through February 18, 2018 and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team that is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

A revamped TurboVote Toolkit for 2018

By Sara Clark

As we gear up for this midterm election year, the TurboVote higher education implementation team took some time over the last few months to completely revamp the TurboVote Toolkit.

What’s the TurboVote Toolkit, you ask? The TurboVote Toolkit is our encyclopedia of best practices for implementing TurboVote on college campuses. Within its pages you’ll find a range of strategies for engaging students with the tool as well as success stories from some of our top-performing partners.

So what’s new?

An intuitive layout and action-oriented sections
We’ve taken our toolkit of yesterday and revamped it with a sleek new interface. You’ll see lots of whitespace, links, and images designed to help you find the information you need easily.
Additionally, we’ve organized its contents into five clear sections, which guide a campus implementer through the process of institutionalizing TurboVote on campus.

toolkitheader.png

On the far left in Get started are the go-to pages for new implementers who are ready to introduce a campus to TurboVote (hint: we do love a good mass email dedicated to voter engagement). 

Then, Place online takes things to the next level by describing our strategies for incorporating TurboVote into high-traffic campus websites and portals, the virtual environments where the tool shines best. 

Next, we offer tips to ensure the longevity of your voter engagement efforts on campus and give a face to TurboVote for students in Build a program and Promote in-person.

Finally, we end with a panoply of Resources to cover all sorts of administrative loose ends, from FAQs and social media basics to a list of other organizations in the higher education civic engagement space.

Three case studies about TurboVote & pre-semester online processes
You may remember hearing about our best strategy from 2017: incorporating TurboVote into a mandatory pre-semester process that takes place online via a platform like PeopleSoft. We are big fans of this strategy because it’s low-maintenance and gets huge results (more than 4,000 signups at The University of Chicago last fall through this avenue alone!).

Now you can read all about how three TurboVote partners—the Harvard Institute of Politics, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and The University of Chicago—made it happen with case studies on the new Pre-semester processes page of the toolkit. These are great resources as you plan to do a similar implementation at your school or want to make the case to campus stakeholders.

A guide to TurboVote mailings
But that’s not all! Have you ever wanted to explain TurboVote’s mailings to a student or colleague and wish you’d had a visual? The new Mailings info page of the toolkit offers just that. Simply point folks to this page—filled with crisp graphics and easy explanations—to show them what’ll happen after selecting “I like getting mail” during the final step of a TurboVote signup. 

mailingsinfo.png

A suite of grab-n-go posters and graphics
Finally, our graphic designer created a beautiful array of promotional TurboVote materials—from posters to palm cards and computer cards. Now, a preview of the designs lives within the toolkit on our new Posters and graphics page. Head there to take a look and then shoot us an email at partnerships@turbovote.org if you’d like access to the files.

postersandgraphics.png

Have an idea to make the TurboVote Toolkit even better?
We hope you find the redesigned toolkit helpful as you plan for 2018 and train others on campus. If there’s any piece of TurboVote information or a how-to guide you find missing, please let us know! We’d love to make this resource as comprehensive as possible.

JOB: Director of Finance & Human Resources

NOTE: As of March 27, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Location: Brooklyn, NY
Target Start Date: February 1, 2018
Salary Range: $90,000 -$110,000 per year (depending on experience)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Mid-level to senior

Organizational overview
At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process to ensure that no voter should ever have to miss an election. Our team is reaching for a moonshot goal of 80 percent voter turnout. Over the past two years we have laid the groundwork to reach this goal, helping voters connect to a more modernized election system through the institutions they interact with in their daily lives.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. TurboVote signed up its millionth voter in 2016 by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate coalition in the country, including more than 300 campuses, companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and dozens more.  We also helped voters around the country find their polling place information through the Voting Information Project. Its data had 123 million impressions in 2016, and more than 11 million voters looked up where to vote on GetToThePolls.com. To scale our impact and reach every voter, we’re establishing an Election Technology Cooperative to provide affordable, voter-centered technology to election administrators. And Ballot Scout helps election administrators track absentee ballots through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry.

Position overview
As the Finance and Human Resources Director, you will report directly to the CEO, assisting with various executive functions while overseeing your own portfolio of responsibilities. You’ll also be overseeing the work of the Democracy Works Administrative Director as that work relates to our finance and human resources portfolios. 

You will:
Finance

  • plan, coordinate, and execute the budget-development process (current budget size: more than $4 million)
  • oversee work portfolio of outside accountants and bookkeepers, including accounting reports and schedules for annual 990, audit, and review
  • oversee maintenance of business models for Democracy Works and its various programs, including annual modeling of hiring and revenue scenarios
  • manage financial forecasting and cash flow
  • oversee timely, accurate monthly and annual close
  • document, communicate, and manage staff on fiscal policies and procedures
  • spearhead and oversee changes to accounts and classes in the accounting system as we move to project based accounting
  • manage administrative director on finance-related work, including: accounts payable, accounts receivable, shared cost allocation, TRNA, quarterly tax reporting, annual compliance audit, and monthly financial reporting materials for the board of directors

Human Resources

  • revise and implement hiring policies, support hiring managers, and ensure that our recruitment process brings in the candidates we need to grow effectively
  • oversee the growth and implementation of diversity and inclusion policies
  • professionalize organizational policies in support of all staff functions, including professional development and staff advancement
  • manage Democracy Works Administrative Director on human resources-related work

Our administrative team also oversees office management and other non-program-related work to support running and scaling a nonprofit. You’ll be helping to support the work taken on by this team.

You are:

  • energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives.
  • a creative problem-solver with excellent judgment
  • effective in negotiating across differences and resolving conflict 
  • an entrepreneurial team player who can multitask
  • able to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers
  • an exceptional oral writer, presenter, and interpersonal communicator 

You have experience:

  • mastering nonprofit accounting rules and GAAP standards (CPA license preferred)
  • handling advanced financial functions, including: accounting & controls; compliance; reporting; budgeting; grants; financial modeling 
  • managing finances for a project or organization with at least $7 million in annual revenues
  • strong knowledge of project-based accounting
  • configuring and managing accounting software (QuickBooks Online preferred)
  • training or mentoring other staff
  • managing small teams and mentoring direct reports

To apply:
Candidates should send a short email with resume, addressed to Seth, at work@democracy.works with the subject line “Will work for democracy” to begin the application process. Please include how you found this job listing. We also encourage all applicants to state their preferred pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works. Qualified candidates who meet the above requirements will have the opportunity to complete an anonymized skills evaluation before we schedule an interview. Based on the application, evaluation results, interviews, and reference checks, one person will be selected for the position. Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team that’s representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), We conduct an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman-and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

INTERNSHIP: TurboVote Executive Support Summer Associate

NOTE: As of March 2, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.
 
TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. TurboVote signed up its millionth voter in 2016 by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including hundreds of campuses, companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and dozens more. Our other work includes the Voting Information Project, an Election Technology Cooperative, and Ballot Scout.

The TurboVote Partnerships team recruits schools, organizations, and groups to promote voter engagement through the strategic use of TurboVote. Over 300 colleges and universities and dozens of nonprofit organizations and corporations have used TurboVote. This position specifically supports the TurboVote Program Director, whose work focuses on corporate outreach and the TurboVote Challenge

In 2018, one of our focus areas is to grow the size and scope of the TurboVote Challenge. This will be accomplished by investing in our current partners and finding creative ways to help them build more comprehensive programs for voter engagement. Through strategic thinking, community building, and active partner support, our goal (with your help!) is to empower TurboVote Challenge members to register their employees and audiences to vote. Specifically, the goal of the TurboVote Challenge is to reach 80 percent voter turnout by 2024. 

Your summer will include:

  • helping the TurboVote Program Director with follow-up emails from calls, conferences, and events
  • inputting and maintaining information about contacts in our constituent relationship management tool
  • researching organizations to join the TurboVote Challenge
  • attending calls with partners for note-taking and follow-up purposes
  • assisting the TurboVote Program Director in ghostwriting op-eds and blog posts
  • collaborating with the other TurboVote Partnerships summer associates on program-wide projects, as assigned

You are:

  • highly organized with an attention to detail
  • a self starter who’s eager to learn about the intersection of voter engagement and corporate-social responsibility
  • an excellent communicator, who can write warm and conversational emails without sounding informal
  • currently enrolled as an undergraduate at an institution of higher education

Experience in executive support, political organizing, leading an organization, editing and designing, or business development is a plus, but not a requirement.

This full-time, paid position is located in Brooklyn, NY for 10 weeks from early June to mid-August. You will be expected to join the Democracy Works team in the office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the work week. This intern position is one among a team of fellow student interns supporting the TurboVote Partnerships team.

To apply:
Please send the following to Sara at intern@turbovote.org with the subject line “Will intern for democracy”:

  • a short email including the title of this specific internship and how you found this listing,
  • a resume of relevant experience to the responsibilities and qualifications listed above.

We also encourage all applicants to state their preferred pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works. Complete applications will be accepted until Friday, March 2, 2018 at midnight and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Qualified candidates will be given the opportunity to complete a practical exercise. They will then go through interview rounds (up to two) with different members of our team who interact closely with this position. Based on the application and interviews, one person will be selected for the position and will be notified by a target date of Friday, March 23, 2018.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

JOB: Corporate Outreach Lead

NOTE: As of March 28, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Title: Corporate Outreach Lead
Location: Preferably Brooklyn, NY, but we’re open to remote candidates within the US
Target Start Date: March 1, 2018
Salary Range: $62,000 to $82,000 per year, depending on experience (salary band given for Brooklyn; remote salaries will vary by cost-of-living adjustment)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Junior or mid, based on applicant’s experience

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. TurboVote signed up its millionth voter in 2016 by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including hundreds of campuses, companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Snapchat, and dozens more. In 2018, we’re looking to expand that coalition via the TurboVote Challenge

The Voting Information Project (VIP) coordinates with state election offices to publish nationally-standardized information about where and how to vote—data that powers everything from Google’s polling place search to our own text message and email reminders to TurboVote users. 

Where you fit in: Corporate Outreach Lead
As the corporate outreach lead, you will assist the VIP and TurboVote teams with identifying, building, and strengthening relationships with companies that currently, or could in the future, leverage their resources for voter engagement. Regular activities include: cold outreach; call organizing and participation; contract negotiation; proposal writing; voter engagement campaign development; community management; and conference and other event attendance. For each company, you will assess, and then implement, the relationship structure and engagement strategies most likely to lead to success for that specific partnership. 

Your job will include:

  • generating leads for new corporate partnerships 
  • carrying leads through pre-set task stages that lead to a collaboration arrangement or signed contract (this requires many hours of phone and email communications)
  • growing the partnership between Democracy Works and each current corporate partner in order to successfully engage more potential voters
  • diligently collecting and entering data into a customer management system (a database) so that relationships can be tracked and actively cultivated
  • keeping partners up to date on the availability of VIP data and tools and supporting implementation of both
  • supporting our TurboVote implementation team when needed to ensure partners have the best possible experience using TurboVote


You are:  

  • self-motivated in achieving goals, particularly goals lacking prescribed steps to success
  • excellent at time management and balancing multiple projects
  • a master of persuasion
  • diligent in your follow-up and in chasing an opportunity over time and space
  • enthusiastic about making cold calls and new friends
  • exceptionally organized and detail oriented


You have:

  • experience making cold calls, tracking down decision makers, and researching leads
  • a proven track record of meeting or exceeding individual goals
  • familiarity with the corporate social responsibility, civic engagement, and/or advocacy spaces
  • experience in nonprofit partnerships, business development, or junior account management roles (preferred, but not necessary)
  • have worked with CRM tools (we use Insightly) or databases (preferred, but not necessary)

To apply:
Send a short email with resume, addressed to Mike, at work@democracy.works with the subject line “Will organize Corporate America for democracy” to begin the application process. Please include how you found this job listing. We also encourage all applicants to state their preferred pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works. Qualified candidates who meet the above requirements will have the opportunity to complete an anonymized practical exercise to evaluate your skill set. Candidates who submit a strong exercise will be invited into the interview process. Based on the application, evaluation results, interviews, and reference checks, one person will be selected for the position.

Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

INTERNSHIP: TurboVote Nonprofit Support Summer Associate

NOTE: As of March 2, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.
 
TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register to vote, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. TurboVote signed up its millionth voter in 2016 by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including hundreds of campuses, dozens of nonprofit organizations, and companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and dozens more. Our other work includes the Voting Information Project, an Election Technology Cooperative, and Ballot Scout.

The TurboVote Partnerships team recruits schools, organizations, and groups to promote voter engagement through the strategic use of TurboVote. This position supports the division of the TurboVote Partnerships team focused on nonprofit implementation and outreach.
 
In 2018, the focus of the nonprofit team is scaling our program. On the implementation side, this is accomplished by investing in our existing partnerships and developing creative ways to help partners build more comprehensive programs for voter engagement. On the outreach side, this includes identifying and recruiting partners in the nonprofit and advocacy spaces. Through community building and active partner support, our goal (with your help!) is to empower TurboVote’s nonprofit partners to promote democratic engagement alongside their cause-specific work. 

Your summer will include:

  • adding valuable capacity to the TurboVote nonprofit team by contributing to projects that directly support our mission in an important election year
  • creating content (think: one-pagers and partner newsletters) that will help our partners successfully promote TurboVote
  • collecting and maintaining data on our partners so every contact gets the customized outreach they need
  • offering a young person’s perspective around creative ways to reach, motivate, and rally our partners to register and turn out their audiences
  • collaborating with the other TurboVote Partnerships summer associates on program-wide projects, as assigned

You are:

  • at home in an agile, fast-paced environment
  • excited about the intersection of technology and voter engagement 
  • comfortable with oral and written communication in a variety of settings, including phone presence, email outreach, and presentations
  • self-motivated, happy working on independent projects, and highly organized.
  • a relationship-builder and all-around people person
  • currently enrolled as an undergraduate at an institution of higher education

Experience in political organizing, leading an organization, writing and editing, or business development is a plus, but not a requirement.

This full-time, paid position is located in Brooklyn, NY for 10 weeks from early June to mid-August. You will be expected to join the Democracy Works team in the office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the work week. This intern position is one among a team of fellow student interns supporting the Partnerships team. 

Please note that some members of the Partnerships team, including the Nonprofit Partner Support Lead to whom you’ll report, work remotely from other time zones. 

To apply:
Please send the following to Sara at intern@turbovote.org with the subject line “Will intern for democracy”:

  • a short email including the title of this specific internship and how you found this listing,
  • a resume of relevant experience to the responsibilities and qualifications listed above.

We also encourage all applicants to state their preferred pronouns when applying for any job opening at Democracy Works. Complete applications will be accepted until Friday, March 2, 2018 at midnight and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Qualified candidates will be given the opportunity to complete a practical exercise. They will then go through interview rounds (up to two) with different members of our team who interact closely with this position. Based on the application and interviews, one person will be selected for the position and will be notified by a target date of Friday, March 23, 2018.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

JOB: Administrative Associate

NOTE: As of January 31, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Location: Brooklyn, NY
Target Start Date: March 1, 2018
Salary Range: $48,000 - $60,000 per year (depending on experience)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; paid parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Entry

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

These services are the work of 27 employees, located in eight states. Internal operations keep the entire company running, and we want to make sure we have the best team possible to keep our operations smooth. 

As an office assistant, you’ll:

  • use QuickBooks to enter bills, generate invoices, and keep client and vendor information current 
  • work with our partnerships team to track invoices and ensure they’re paid
  • assist Democracy Works employees with human resource responsibilities 
  • manage our filing systems (both digital and paper), keeping them organized and up-to-date
  • serve as an internal travel agent, helping with all travel arrangements for Democracy Works employees
  • keep our Brooklyn headquarters stocked and organized

You are:

  • exceptionally organized 
  • empathetic and creative in your approach to customer service
  • passionate about getting details exactly right
  • an excellent communicator, who can write warm and conversational emails without sounding too informal

You have experience:

  • working in QuickBooks Online
  • handling nonprofit accounting
  • managing an office

This full-time position is based out of our Brooklyn headquarters.

To apply, send a resume and brief, informal introduction to Junie at work@democracy.works with the subject “Will assist with democracy.” Please also include how you found this job listing. From there, we’ll send you a short practical exercise designed to test some of your problem-solving skills, which we’ll anonymize and then evaluate in a blind review. Candidates with strong responses to the practical exercise will go through interview rounds (up to two) with different members of our team who interact closely with this position. We’ll ask for references from our top finalist(s), then make an offer.
 
Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team that's representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates). We conduct an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices. Democracy Works posts all current career opportunities at democracy.works/careers.

NEWS RELEASE: Amy Cohen Named Executive Director for National Association of State Election Directors

Amy Cohen Named Executive Director for National Association of State Election Directors

NASED finds new home at Democracy Works, Inc.

(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) -- Effective today, Amy Cohen, Democracy Works’s Director of Government Outreach, is the new Executive Director for the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED). As a result, Democracy Works will serve as the organizational home for the nearly 30 year-old professional association.

“NASED is a critically important organization, helping state election directors understand what is happening in the field and respond to issues like cybersecurity threats,” said Amy Cohen. “I am thrilled to work with NASED to modernize the organization and improve communication with the membership, so that valuable information and practices are better shared across states.”

NASED members play a key role in ensuring accessible, accurate, and transparent elections in the United States and U.S. Territories, which has increased the importance for communication and coordination among state election administrators. As executive director, Ms. Cohen will work with the NASED executive board and membership to provide general administrative services, conference planning and coordination of meeting logistics, financial management, and website redesign and maintenance.

“Election administrators define our voting experience—from registration and eligibility to the sticker you receive at the polls—in addition to the many responsibilities that voters never see,” said Kathryn Peters, Democracy Works’s Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer. “NASED brings together state election directors nationwide to share best practices and collaborate. In fulfilling Democracy Works's goal to support election officials, I can think of no better partner than NASED.”

Ms. Cohen has wasted no time getting to work, sharing her vision for the coming year with members of the executive board and preparing for the the NASED Winter Meeting taking place February 16-19, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

“NASED is very excited to have Amy on board,” said Judd Choate, NASED president. “She brings a perfect skill set and tremendous experience, but more importantly she has a deep, abiding belief in our mission. NASED couldn’t have picked a better executive director.”

###

JOB: Government Outreach Lead

NOTE: As of January 19, 2018, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Location: We’re based in Brooklyn, NY, but currently have remote staff across the US
Target Start Date: February 15, 2018
Salary Range: $76,000 - $120,000 per year, depending on experience (salary band given for Brooklyn; remote salaries will vary by cost-of-living adjustment)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Mid-level to senior

Who we are
We’re Democracy Works, a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the idea that voting should fit the way we live today. We’re a team of software developers, public policy wonks, and civic organizers working together to build tools that both voters and election administrators will love.

What we do
We started out in 2010 by building TurboVote, a website that registers voters, guides users through tasks like updating registrations or requesting absentee ballots, and provides timely election reminders so voters don’t forget to vote. In 2014 we expanded our offerings to serve election administrators directly, providing the technology and infrastructure needed to scale best practices and voter-centric innovations nationwide. We also work with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Google to ensure that the Voting Information Project’s polling place and ballot data is up-to-date for the millions of voters who rely on it.

Our tools for government
Ballot Scout, our first tool for local election officials, tracks ballots sent through the mail using United States Postal Service Intelligent Mail barcodes. It’s designed to do all the heavy lifting for election administrators, from helping them implement Intelligent Mail barcodes on their mailings to providing a way to monitor mailed ballots via a dashboard of intelligible, actionable tracking data. The tool also includes a public interface, giving voters the opportunity to look up the status of their ballot online and/or sign up for SMS or email updates about their ballot. 

In 2017, we also added election reminders to our offerings for election officials, giving local offices the ability to automate timely text and email messages to voters with personalized information about upcoming elections. These messages contain official information in an easy-to-read format, delivered just when voters need it from an authoritative, nonpartisan source.

In 2018, we’re launching the Election Technology Cooperative, an ambitious, long-term effort by leading election administrators to modernize the development and procurement of US election technology. Working together, we hope to leverage the collective resources of jurisdictions all across the country to build  and share innovative, cost-effective election tech. This collaborative approach means jurisdictions can share both the cost and the benefits of an improved voting experience nationwide.

Where you fit: Government Outreach Lead 
As the Government Outreach Lead, you will be responsible for growing our government program and expanding use of our tools. You’ll be joining a team of nationally respected experts in election administration with deep connections among election officials and technologists at the federal, state, and local level. In 2018, we’re focusing on establishing new relationships and formal partnerships with a variety of offices, all with varying priorities, funding constraints, and power structures. In this role, you will need to immerse yourself in the world of election administration, build relationships with key stakeholders, and think creatively in order to generate revenue opportunities for Democracy Works products and services. 

Your job will include:

  • taking ownership of program growth and identifying opportunities for new organizational relationships
  • creating, evaluating, and continually improving a sales pipeline to drive high value partnerships
  • earnestly following up new leads in our community of state and local election offices
  • guiding potential partners through the sales cycle, especially in qualification, contracting, and onboarding
  • attending relevant conferences and meetings to promote Democracy Works initiatives
  • recording and maintaining relationship-tracking data 
  • enthusiastically promoting our mission

You are:  

  • driven, with a deep sense of purpose
  • a master of persuasion, self-confident, and energetic 
  • diligent in your follow-up and in chasing an opportunity over time and space
  • happiest in a fast-paced work environment 
  • someone who relishes a challenge and is not afraid of “no” 
  • dedicated to providing top-notch customer/constituent service 
  • adept at translating ideas for diverse audiences with varying skill sets and levels of expertise
  • willing to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • organized, able to prioritize time effectively and multitask
  • capable of working in a non-partisan manner

You have:

  • experience making cold calls, tracking down decisionmakers, researching leads, and building a sales pipeline
  • a proven track record of meeting or exceeding individual goals
  • excellent written/oral communication skills, including phone presence & presentation skills
  • familiarity with local/state/federal government or another cautious, deliberate work culture
  • experience in non-profit or commercial sales, business development, community outreach, or fundraising 
  • a passion for elections and democracy
  • willingness to travel

To apply:
Send a short email with resume, addressed to Monica, at work@democracy.works with the subject line “Will hustle for democracy” to begin the application process. Please also include how you found this job listing. Qualified candidates who meet the above requirements will have the opportunity to complete an anonymized skills evaluation before we schedule an interview. Based on the application, evaluation results, interviews, and reference checks, one person will be selected for the position. Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

JOB: Product Manager, TurboVote

NOTE: As of December 18, 2017, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Location: Preferably Brooklyn, NY, but we’re open to remote candidates within the US
Target Start Date: February 1, 2018
Salary Range: $90,000 to $120,000 per year (depending on experience. Salary band given for Brooklyn; remote salaries will vary by cost-of-living adjustment)
Benefits: Vision, dental, & medical insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; generous vacation policy; parental leave; long-term disability; employee assistance program
Level: Senior

At Democracy Works, we believe voting should fit the way we live. To that end, we build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election.

TurboVote, our first service, helps voters register, stay registered, and cast a ballot in every election, from municipal to national. TurboVote signed up its millionth voter in 2016 by building the largest college, nonprofit, and corporate voter engagement coalition in the country, including hundreds of campuses, companies like Starbucks, Univision, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and dozens more. Our other work includes the Voting Information Project, whose polling-place data received 123 million impressions in 2016, an Election Technology Cooperative to provide affordable, voter-centered technology to election administrators, and Ballot Scout, which tracks absentee ballots through the mail, providing transparency in the vote-by-mail process and making it easier to follow up when things go awry.

You’ll be joining the TurboVote program at an exciting moment: after a complete rewrite, we’re now running entirely on TurboVote 2.0 and beginning to reap some of the benefits of its microservice architecture’s flexibility and scaling. Going into the 2018 midterm elections, we’re focused on maximizing TurboVote’s ability to turn out voters and expanding its sustainable program revenues.
 
As Product Manager for TurboVote, you will be acting as a product owner and project manager, working from end-to-end— from sitting with our executive leadership to make strategic choices AND down in the details of planning sprints and onboarding partners. In doing so, you’ll be supported by a constellation of software developers; a researcher who brings extensive knowledge of election administration; a partner support team with significant experience implementing across higher education, nonprofit, and corporate environments; and a COO dedicated to corralling the external resources you need to succeed.

You will:

  • define a shared vision for TurboVote’s impact and financial sustainability
  • synthesize academic research, user interviews, partner feedback, and staff insights into a clear roadmap for TurboVote’s future growth, and the user stories to see it built
  • lead the ideation, development, testing/QA, and launch of new features to make TurboVote THE platform for civic engagement
  • collaborate with the TurboVote partnerships team to communicate roadmap priorities, introduce partners to new features, and delight our implementers
  • pair with a lead developer to define implementation for new features, ensure clear conditions of acceptance (including unsexy stuff like internationalization, accessibility, scaling and browser compatibility), and participate in regular sprint-planning meetings with the developer team to plan and prioritize their work
  • advise Democracy Works’s executive team and shape organizational strategy

You are:

  • obsessively attentive to detail
  • empathetic, comfortable acting as users’ biggest advocate
  • able to see the big picture and maintain strategic focus
  • persuasive, able to communicate your vision to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • a fantastic listener
  • creative, in the way that can pare ideas down to a clear wireframe and an initial MVP
  • at ease facilitating both a focused one-on-one conversation and a boisterous group debate

You have experience:

  • building a new product (or significant new release) through its entire lifecycle—from ideation through launch
  • drafting technical architecture requirements, whether solo or in collaboration with a technical team
  • implementing a variety of development processes (agile, kanban, scrum) and navigating the strengths and weaknesses of each method in getting things done
  • communicating across different areas of expertise and coordinating teams with diverse viewpoints
  • conducting user interviews/direct product research and distilling insights
  • designing user interfaces
  • representing a product or project to clients or other external stakeholders
  • developing strategic plans

To apply:

Send a short email with resume, addressed to Katy, at work@democracy.works with the subject line “Will design for democracy” to begin the application process. Please also include how you found this job listing. Qualified candidates who meet the above requirements will have the opportunity to complete an anonymized skills evaluation before we schedule an interview. Based on the application, evaluation results, interviews, and reference checks, one person will be selected for the position.

Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Democracy Works is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do and aspires to have a team which is representative of the voters we serve. When hiring, we practice proactive outreach to top talent that’s underrepresented in our sector (including Latinx, Black, AAPI, and Indigenous candidates), and we offer every candidate an anonymized skills evaluation, to reduce implicit bias and resume-dependency in our process. We're a woman- and gay-founded startup, and promote an inclusive culture that stands against racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism (to name a few). To be explicit, we strongly encourage applicants of all races, ethnicities, political party associations, religions (or lack thereof), national origins, sexual orientations, genders, sexes, ages, abilities, and branches of military service. Feel free to contact work@democracy.works if you have any questions about our commitment to inclusion or about general hiring practices.

GUEST POST: How workshops helped Turn Up Turnout at the University of Michigan

By Elizabeth Pratt, University of Michigan student

In an ideal world, Americans young and old would storm the polls, or fill out their absentee ballots, with enthusiasm and knowledge come election day. It would not matter if the election was for local officials or the president, because American citizens would care regardless. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in, at least for the moment. The world we do live in is a world where many people feel discouraged to vote—especially 18- to 24-year olds. 

“Why is this?” you may ask yourself. For some young adults, the problem with voting is the complicated registration process. For others, it is a lack of understanding about how to register to vote, and then how to actually vote at the polls. Others may not understand the importance of voting, especially in midterm and local elections. Turn Up Turnout, a nonpartisan student group at the University of Michigan started by Professor Edie Goldenberg, hopes to encourage 18- to 24-year olds to vote despite these concerns. 

This past summer, Turn Up Turnout, known by its members as TUT, worked to create and implement a workshop teaching incoming students at the University of Michigan WHY it is crucial to vote in midterm and local elections, as well as HOW to register and vote. The workshop includes a deliberative discussion encouraging participants to share differing opinions, common misconceptions about voting, a timeline detailing when certain groups of Americans gained the right to vote, and reasons why it is important to vote. The workshop is meant to be interactive and educational, allowing students to voice concerns about voting, which facilitators can address in hopes of demystifying the voting process. 

One challenge we faced, even before facilitating, was remaining nonpartisan. This has been the basis of TUT from its inception, the treasured key to our success. Therefore, we had to be concerned about everything from the colors of the slideshow to the deliberative discussion topic, since no data could appear to clearly favor one argument over another. We overcame this difficulty by meticulous editing of the presentation and thorough research into the information we provided. However, the most important way to remain nonpartisan was to remind ourselves of the purpose of the workshop: to teach and encourage everyone to vote, because voting is the lifeblood of the democratic process. 

Through the facilitation of these workshops, we learned a lot. For one, we learned how important it is for participants to be given a voice, regardless of their opinion. We encouraged this by circling the room during the deliberative discussion to hear what everyone said, calling on people who had not talked yet or raised their hands, and allowing for uncomfortable silences in hopes that someone would feel like talking who had not done so before. We also learned that many participants did not understand aspects of voting such as absentee ballots or not having to fill in every item on the ballot—concerns that we now make a priority to address in our presentation. 

Furthermore, TUT has partnered with the Ginsberg Center at the University of Michigan to register students on TurboVote at new student orientation. This initiative resulted in the registration of over 1,200 students on TurboVote, placing the University of Michigan at the top of the TurboVote leaderboard for over two months. The main challenge we faced was: how do we make sure our booth is not ignored by students who are tired of waiting in line and have their hands full with pillows and suitcases?  We dealt with this problem by having someone stand outside of the sign-in room and tell students, in firm language, that the next step of signing in was to register to vote. Thus, students understood the importance of what we were doing and could ask us questions while navigating TurboVote. From this process, we learned how crucial it is to have students register in front of you, where they are held accountable and can see how easy it is to use TurboVote, which will aid them in registering to vote and much more. 

TUT’s work will not stop here. We are proud of our summer initiatives, and plan to continue to develop them over the fall, as well as tackle some new projects. Some of our next steps include:

  1. Training facilitators at Michigan universities to implement our workshop in high schools across the state;
  2. Continuing to register the University of Michigan students through TurboVote at campus events;
  3. Teaching a class on strengthening the right to vote; and
  4. Kicking off the Big Ten Voting Challenge. The Big Ten Voting Challenge starts in September 2017. This is a competition between all Big Ten schools to see who can achieve the highest percentage improvement of voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, as well as who can most improve their percentage of voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections (compared to the 2014 midterm election turnout). TUT and the Ginsberg Center will be hosting events on campus to register students through TurboVote and engage students in hopes of helping U of M win the challenge.

In closing, we at TUT hope sharing our challenges and triumphs will give other universities the tools to implement movements on their campus, because the time has come for universities to acknowledge and use their power to impress upon students the importance of fulfilling their civic duty. One piece of parting wisdom is that increasing student voter turnout is composed of three simple aspects: 

  1. Collaboration between students and faculty;
  2. Transparency of universities concerning voter turnout statistics on campus; and 
  3. Hard work by people who are passionate about their mission. 

Good luck! 

For more information on TUT, our initiatives, and our events, visit sites.lsa.umich.edu/tut.
 

SPOTLIGHT: National Voter Registration Day with our corporate and nonprofit partners

By Jill Brownfield

If variety is the spice of life, then TurboVote partners are living it up. On National Voter Registration Day this year (September 26), our partners went above and beyond with their unique approaches to engagement and—in turn—impact.

Across all partner pages, we added nearly 10,000 new TurboVote users on NVRD! Approximately 70 percent of our traffic was mobile, while the rest was desktop/tablet based. We served users from all 50 states and DC, and the states with the most new users were CA, NY, MD, and OH. 

Here, we’ll highlight some of our favorite examples of partner implementations from that day. You can see even more of them by checking out our retweets on Twitter! While you’re there, won’t you share this blog post?

We’ll start with a TurboVote Partnerships team member cameo! Mike Ward, the Director of TurboVote Programs, hit the front page of Twitch on Tuesday and walked through a TurboVote signup LIVE! He’s wearing the VOTER shirt featured in Boost Mobile’s 2016 “Boost Your Voice” campaign (because we love feeding two birds with one hand).

Twitch is one of our newest partners, and we’re very excited about working in the video gaming space. We’ll have a more in-depth look at this implementation to share soon, but for now, take a look at Mike spreading the word of voter registration on NVRD! Shout out to Brian Petrocelli from Twitch and Steve Place from Corillian for their huge roles in making this implementation a reality.

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Next up, we want to highlight Foursquare Swarm’s awesome in-app calls to action! Users were reminded to make their voices count by registering to vote, and were then encouraged to share out that they registered. 

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Social Works Chi turned to social to make a big splash on NVRD, and even got their co-founder Chance the Rapper in on the fun! Social sharing is a great way to amplify your impact and reach, especially on days like National Voter Registration Day, and SWC nailed it!

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VICE Impact used their homepage to highlight the importance of registering to vote on NVRD! They continue to use their TurboVote partner site as a call to action for much of their content, and have more engagement work planned for 2018! 

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Defend Our Future also used social media to reach their audience, and used posts on Instagram to count down the days to NVRD! Here is their day-of post, featuring a graphic from NVRD’s team.

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Many of our partners took to Twitter for NVRD implementations. We co-hosted a Twitter chat with Presence on September 26 and participated in Young Invincibles’ #MillennialMon chat the day before. Both were able to bring together diverse organizations, answering common questions voters have. These are great examples of implementations partners used to reach voters where they are and we couldn't be more proud of their success!

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We’re so happy to highlight the great work of our partners. We wouldn’t be able to make voting fit the way you live without them. If you’re interested in becoming a partner, please reach out to partnerships@turbovote.org for more information!

2017 is the biggest year for elections since...2016

By Mike Ward, with Ada Vargas contributing

Nearly half of the people in our country have an election in their area on November 7, 2017. That’s a good bit more than one might expect for a year without a full slate of federal elections. With National Voter Registration Day (September 26) one week away, we thought it might be worthwhile to illuminate how big 2017 actually is in terms of elections.

If you live in the United States and are eligible to vote, chances are you have (or had) the opportunity to cast a ballot this year. The Democracy Works research team, led by Ada Vargas, uncovered over 2,500 races between January 1 and September 1, 2017. Many of them were municipal-level, but more than a few statewide and federal races slipped into the calendar while the country was otherwise occupied by the news juggernaut that is 2017. 

Looking forward to November 7, there are eight states with statewide elections (NJ, VA, NY, ME, OH, PA, TX, VA, and WA), two states with municipal elections that are nearly universal across the state (CT and UT), and at least three states with elections scattered around the state (CA, KS, and MN). 

If you live in any of these states and aren’t yet registered, register now! If you live in one of these states and are already registered, sign up for TurboVote’s election reminders so that you get all of the information you need to help clear any process barriers to voting. And if you don’t live in one of those states, sign up for reminders anyway. Chances are, you’ll miss a future election without them. 

“What are election reminders?” you might be wondering. Before every single election that Democracy Works’s research team uncovers, TurboVote sends an email/text message series to every user eligible to vote in that election. The text messages in particular, which would be impossible without our collaboration with Twilio, add a personal element to voter engagement that seems desperately lacking in our democracy today. We also have a help desk staff on hand to answer any questions. In 2016 alone, we responded to over 18,000 help desk requests. 

We live in a time of information overload. If you consider yourself a voter, you need reminders to make sure that you live up to the identity you stake out for yourself. Celebrate National Voter Registration Day this year by signing up for reminders and make sure you never miss an election again. 
 

GUEST POST: The 2017 TurboVote Associates Summer in Review

By Michelle Shim

My name is Michelle Shim, and I’m a rising second year at the University of Chicago. This summer, I had the chance to meet peers from all over the country with interests as diverse as our geographical backgrounds; five of us served as TurboVote Summer Associates in the Democracy Works office in Brooklyn, NY. Alex from the University of Kansas was the climate change warrior, and Brian hailing from Duke was our comp-sci tech guy; Prince from Texas State knew the lyrics to every pop song we could name, and Eloise from Harvard proved her extensive historical knowledge by dominating in Chronology every game night. “No,” she would drawl, exasperated. “That happened a decade after the Civil War, my friend.”

 From left to right: Associates Alex, Brian, Prince, Michelle, and Democracy Works staffers Anjelica, Sara, and Emily. Not pictured: Eloise

From left to right: Associates Alex, Brian, Prince, Michelle, and Democracy Works staffers Anjelica, Sara, and Emily. Not pictured: Eloise

For most of the summer associates, this was our first taste of the inner workings of a nonprofit organization, and we were ready to dive into whatever work was available. Little did we know that countless projects had already been meticulously planned to ensure our summer would be as productive and rewarding as possible. And so began 10 fulfilling weeks spanning everything from public policy research on voting laws to a complete overhaul of the TurboVote Toolkit website, from outreach projects on potential new partners to the creation of helpful materials for our current ones. We even brainstormed innovative implementation strategies for both our higher education and corporate partners.

One such brainstorm session brought a staff member, Sofia, from a major social media network to our office on a rainy Monday. Over lunch, we offered ideas on how, with a foothold in the political sphere, they could bolster voter education and engagement in the coming years. The associates chatted with Sofia about potential new features, our everyday experiences with the platform fueling the conversation. Laughter about some particularly outrageous, but perhaps not entirely crazy, ideas drove away the low clouds. Even outside of enhancing voter participation, scouting out potential partnerships, and learning about various other sides to Democracy Works such as the Voting Information Project, we associates found ourselves forming new skillsets. We learned to document meticulously for any project, to hold ourselves accountable to self-prescribed deadlines, and to clearly and concisely communicate with fellow associates and our superiors. We grew increasingly cognizant of the footprints we were leaving on whatever we touched.

Occasionally, we were also entrusted with extremely imperative tasks that would take priority over all else, like creating a grocery list for our summer BBQ—was it to be guacamole or salsa? Spicy black bean burgers or standard veggie ones? Oh, the possibilities! We even led brown bag presentations (informal talks over lunch) for the entire Democracy Works family on topics of our interest. I flaunted a website I created about democratic architecture, Eloise advised us on how to predict the weather, and Brian discussed the potential benefits of legalizing the organ market, while Alex delved into his passion for the banjo. Prince taught the staff on how to use Snapchat with fluid expertise, especially stressing the cultural importance of a “streak.”

The fact that we were in the DUMBO district of Brooklyn was not lost on us, and we took advantage of our perfect proximity to NYC—close enough in terms of accessibility, and distant enough for refuge from the often overwhelming bustle of the city. The associates spent their lunch breaks gazing out at the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges from Pebble Beach, the city skyline in the background. A few times after work, I would cross either bridge on foot to meet friends for dinner in Chinatown, dessert in Little Italy, and some window shopping in SoHo. I even took a leap of faith to get my ears pierced, dragging Prince with me for moral support.

With fuller minds (and somewhat fuller bodies from all those food trucks), the 2017 TurboVote Associates are heading back to college with a better understanding of the terrains of ourselves. Where our faults lie and where our peaks are, which old passions are running dry and which new ones are springing up. The steep slopes of the many challenges ahead, but also the deep reservoirs of our own determination, tenacity, and grit.

We trusted traffic signals with our lives when crossing the street, scowled at tourists, avoided Times Square at all costs, and numbed our noses to occasional whiffs of rancid garbage. We called the “metro” the “train,” knew the best dollar pizza stores, and discovered the importance of a hardy attitude and even hardier shoes. “We’re basically New Yorkers now,” we’d jokingly say. Eloise, a native New Yorker, rolled her eyes but smiled.

Voting Abroad: FVAP’s report on the 2016 election

By Amy Cohen

After every federal election, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) conducts the Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) on how the election was administered and issues a report; I wrote about much of the report when the 2016 survey results were released earlier this summer. In addition to questions about voting and registration for the population at large, the survey also asks questions about military and overseas voting and registration, because this is an important population that is difficult to serve. The section of the survey on this population is now conducted in conjunction with the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), a division of the Department of Defense that is dedicated to helping state and local election officials communicate effectively with military and overseas voters, and helping those voters register to vote and vote successfully. In addition, FVAP conducts a separate survey of active duty military (ADM) voters to understand their experience with voting and elections. FVAP released their report on the 2016 election that discusses both the EAVS data and the survey of ADM on August 8. Data on overseas citizens is expected to be published later this year.

Some highlights from the 2016 report include:

  • The states reported approximately 137,793 Federal Postcard Applications (FPCAs) were sent by military voters, and an additional approximately 238,488 FPCAs from overseas voters. An FPCA is a form that allows military and overseas voters to simultaneously register to vote and/or request an absentee ballot. 39 percent of ADM used the FPCA to request an absentee ballot, down from 47 percent in 2012. In many states, the FPCA is the only way to ensure federal legal protections for military and overseas voters.
  • Approximately 950,836 absentee ballots were sent to military and overseas voters. If a military or overseas voter does not receive a ballot they requested, or they are worried that it will not arrive in time, they can download and complete a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is a backup ballot. If a voter submits a FWAB and returns their absentee ballot, only the absentee ballot is counted. States reported receiving approximately 24,313 FWABs in 2016.
  • The Military Postal Service Agency returned more than 51,700 voted ballots from military members to election offices (ballots are identifiable because of the kind of postage). The average military ballot return time was 5.1 days.
  • Among the general population, voter registration increased and turnout remained relatively constant from 2012 to 2016, however registration and turnout among ADM decreased. In 2016, 68 percent of ADM were registered to vote, and 46 percent of all ADM cast a ballot; in 2012, 81 percent were registered to vote and 59 percent of all ADM cast a ballot. Some of these decreases are likely related to demographic changes in the ADM population, which has become slightly less white and less married, as well as somewhat less likely to have a college degree. All three of these demographic characteristics have been linked to higher rates of voter participation.
  • 61 percent of ADM who did not cast a ballot in 2016 said that they did not want to vote, up from 47 percent in 2012.
  • Importantly, 2016 saw a significant increase in the percentage of ADM who received the absentee ballot that they requested. In 2016, 33 percent requested an absentee ballot, and 84 percent received it; in 2012, 41 percent requested an absentee ballot and only 75 percent received it. Those nine percentage points represent several years of concerted effort by FVAP and election officials to make sure that more of the ballots requested by military members are actually received, such as work with the Military Postal Service Agency and the U.S. Postal Service to better track and manage military address changes, which can be frequent.
  • 87 percent of ADM in the Coast Guard who requested an absentee ballot returned it, as did 82 percent in the Navy, 80 percent in the Air Force, 79 percent in the Marine Corps, and 76 percent in the Army.
  • 19 percent of ADM in 2016 were first-time voters.

FVAP is a critical resource for helping state and local election officials mitigate the challenges of communicating with voters overseas, and provides important resources for military and overseas voters who need assistance. Issues these voters experience range from problems with the U.S. Postal Service or Military Postal Service in their country of residence to confusion about voting eligibility for children or grandchildren of Americans overseas who are citizens but have never resided in the United States. Data such as those above, and those included in the FVAP report, are important to understanding and improving how our democracy functions for those citizens who are overseas.