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About Common Cause Massachusetts

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process. In Massachusetts, we have been working since 1970 to win dozens of legislative and legal battles to expand voting rights, put an end to biased redistricting, get big money out of politics, and more.

Our Work

Common Cause achieves our successes, laying the foundation for a stronger 21st century democracy, with a variety of tools and activities:

Job Description

The research intern will conduct and synthesize research to help inform Common Cause Massachusetts’ advocacy and campaigns. The specific anticipated issues they will work on include Election Day Registration, Automatic Voter Registration, and possibly risk-limiting post-election audits.

The Election Day Registration project involves examining how voters in EDR states use the reform, how town clerks and elections administrators in states report EDR affecting their administration, and additional questions that may arise as the campaign unfolds. Part of this work will be picking up existing research, and retrieving data from other states as well as relevant elections laws and trends.

The Automatic Voter Registration research may involve proposing new ways to study this reform. However, it will also involve following up on a number of states and DC that have yet to produced data, and analyzing that data. The aim is to understand whether “front-end” AVR – where voters decline to be registered at the point of service – and “back-end,” where they decline by mail afterwards, have different impacts on the number of registered voters.

In addition, this role will include editing Common Cause MA communications, attending hearings, briefings, and lobby days, taking notes at meetings with coalition partners, and various other duties as they arise.

More About the Position

This internship is an unpaid position. Common Cause is happy to work with candidates so that they can receive academic credit. Hours are flexible, but the intern should have at least 10 hours per week available for this role. They will be expected to be present in the office, but remote work can be arranged over the course of the internship. Further, learning opportunities will arise for the intern by being in the office, such as attending meetings, hearings, and other events with Common Cause MA staff. Common Cause Massachusetts’s office is located at 11 Beacon Street in Boston, a short walk to the Park Street T Stop.


The ideal candidate would:

  • Be Committed to Common Cause’s mission. Have excellent attention to detail.
  • Be very proficient in using Facebook and Twitter. Have excellent writing and proofreading skills.
  • Be interested in learning about effective means of using Facebook and Twitter.
  • Be interested in democracy issues: election reform, campaign finance reform, and open and ethical government.
  • Be interested in learning about Massachusetts politics and policy. Be a current or recent undergraduate, or commensurate experience.

Skills Learned

The intern can expect to:

  • Hone research skills
  • Become knowledgeable about democracy reform issues, state and national politics and policy Hone writing and editing skills
  • Gain familiarity with the democracy reform landscape, particularly in Massachusetts

To Apply

To apply, email Kristina Mensik (kmensik@commoncause.org) a brief introduction and attach your resume, cover letter, and a brief writing sample. Use the subject line, “Spring 2020 Research Intern.”

Common Cause Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and women are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates who fill some, but not all of the qualifications above are encouraged to apply.

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