Ballot Measures Team Staff Writer (Remote)
Posted on: January 16, 2022
Ballotpedia is a collaborative team of fast learners and
creative problem solvers who are eager to work hard to make the
world a better place. We believe the world will be a better place
if every citizen has access to information to make informed
decisions about their vote in every election in which they are
eligible to vote: primary, general, and special elections; federal,
state, and local offices.
We work diligently to present the available information about
elections, candidates, judges, ballot measures, policies, and more
in a way that enables our readers to vote with confidence and to
act as engaged citizens outside of the polling booth.
Ballotpedia readers, like Ballotpedia staff, are special
When we launched in 2007, we did not go out of our way to seek new
readers. Starting with our small team of visionary idealists,
nerds, and aspiring political journalists, we just wrote the best
unbiased online articles we could, especially about ballot
measures. Readers found those articles in droves. It turns out
there was an unclaimed audience out there-people who wanted
straightforward facts about political issues, and were willing to
read at length instead of just scanning the headlines.
"If you build it, they will come:'' our readers came to our neutral
oasis in growing numbers; we've had many millions of lifetime
pageviews, we reached nearly half of all voters in 2020, and, in
the month surrounding the November 2020 election, we were the 77th
most-visited website in the U.S.
We've come to realize that we need to meet our readers where they
are. In doing so, over the past five years, we've grown our email
newsletter program from infancy to include more than 1,000,000
opt-in subscribers with more than a dozen newsletters to choose
from. We are working in numerous ways to help put our neutral
information in front of people at the times when they most need it,
including on mobile phones while you're standing in the voting
booth. We firmly believe that our readers, and the mindset we help
them cultivate, are essential to the preservation of our great
civilization in a world where too many others are fighting to get
us all addicted to sensational posts and the irrational decisions
If this is a mission you'd be willing to work hard to achieve, and
if this is a team you'd be willing to work hard with-JOIN US.
Ballotpedia is seeking a full-time Staff Writer to join our Ballot
It is the job of the staff writer to develop and improve
information about direct democracy. Ballotpedia has a unique
production model, and you are encouraged to learn more here.
The Ballot Measures project includes coverage of current statewide
ballot measures, certain current local ballot measures, historical
ballot measures, and the laws governing ballot measures. Coverage
- the processes by which measures reach the ballot (including
signature petitions, legislative session votes, and lawsuits);
- a measure's policy and political context;
- the campaigns surrounding these measures (including factors
like campaign finance, editorials, arguments for and against, lists
of endorsements, polls, and campaign tactics);
- the elections themselves; and
- aftermath (such as post-election lawsuits, the amendment or
repeal of approved measures, responses from key officials, and the
implementation of approved measures).
To succeed at Ballotpedia, you must be self-aware and personally
invested in constant improvement. You must have a passion for
creating a delightful experience for Ballotpedia's customers, and
you must strive to develop expertise in your subject and the inner
workings of your project.
To understand the type of subject-matter expertise you will be
expected to acquire, please read the following excerpt from
The campaign Alaskans for Better Elections filed 41,068 signatures
on Thursday for a three-pronged ballot initiative to change the
state's election laws. At least 28,501 (69.4 percent) of the
signatures submitted need to be valid for the ballot initiative to
be certified. Alaska also has a signature distribution requirement,
which requires that signatures equal to 7 percent of the vote in
the last general election must be collected in each of 30 (of 40)
Alaska House of Representatives districts.
Changes to Alaska's election policies proposed by the initiative
- requiring persons and entities that make contributions that
were themselves derived from donations, contributions, dues, or
gifts to disclose the true sources (as defined in law) of the
- replacing partisan primaries with open top-four primaries for
state executive, state legislative, and congressional; and
- establishing ranked-choice voting for general elections, in
which voters would rank the four candidates that succeeded from the
Currently, no states utilize a top-four primary for state or
federal elections, and one state-Maine-uses ranked-choice voting
for some state and federal elections. Top-four primaries are
similar to top-two systems, which are used in California and
Washington. Both move candidates through the primary to the general
election regardless of party affiliation. Instead of the top-two
vote-getters moving to the general election, the ballot initiative
would move the top-four vote-getters to the general election. Under
the proposal, voters would use ranked-choice voting to rank the
four candidates in the general election.
Former Rep. Jason Grenn (I-22) is chairperson of Alaskans for
Better Elections. Bruce Botelho (D), the former mayor of Anchorage
and Bonnie Jack (R) are co-chairs of the campaign. Through January
5, 2020, the campaign had reported $757,411, with $600,000 from
Unite America and $100,000 from Action Now Initiative. Both
organizations have supported ranked-choice voting initiatives in
the past. Support was also received from American Promise,
FairVote, and Represent.Us.
As a Ballot Measures Team Staff Writer, you will:
- Produce excellent articles about statewide ballot measures
according to guidelines and training.
- Track the status of measures in a list of assigned states and
cover the status through the established structures and SOPs.
- Build and manage assigned articles in line with Ballotpedia's
writing guidelines and expected quality levels.
- Check breaking news daily and make timely updates to those
articles based on judgement about what updates will most satisfy
- Monitor legislative and elections websites for ballot measure
- Ensure that your team's managing editor, product lead, and team
members are aware of project progress by attending short, scheduled
meetings throughout the week and regularly updating Asana
- Respond to news by quickly developing new ballots content or
writing new articles as needed.
- Work with writing coaches to constantly improve writing skills
and assigned articles.
- Contribute to Ballotpedia's election night coverage, including
updating election results in real-time and working with the
elections team as needed.
- Cover assigned breaking news shifts outside of regular working
hours during infrequent, scheduled on-call shifts (about 3-4
weeknights and 1-2 weekends per year).
- Receiving and incorporating feedback according to deadlines set
by the project lead and agreed to through negotiation.
- Develop and update political analysis articles as
- Write articles in an unbiased neutral way according to training
on Ballotpedia's editorial policy on neutrality.
- Learn and master Ballotpedia's Style Guide (which is based on
the AP Stylebook).
- Update the Ballotpedia database according to established
criteria and SOPs.
- Answer questions from other projects, supervisors, and
Communications regarding promotions and ballots content.
- Have opportunities to field media requests, as needed, with
Skills And Qualifications
An ideal Ballot Measures Team Staff Writer will possess:
- Passion and knowledge about politics, including the United
States political system and elections. They will be someone who
follows current events and is aware of news occurring in American
- Excellent writing skills. They write clearly and concisely, and
know that the skill requires constant practice. Experience as a
professional writer and/or editor is preferred.
- The ability to write about complex topics in a neutral, clear,
and concise manner.
- Proficient organizational skills, proofreading ability, and
familiarity with the use of style guides. Ballotpedia has its own
style guide that is based on the AP Stylebook.
- With training, the ability to independently track a large
number of news stories and state or county legislative and
- Ability to look at our content from different points of view.
They understand how customers with different political beliefs,
needs, or priorities would perceive our content.
- A drive and desire for innovation and flexibility and have the
ability to identify and solve problems proactively. Adapting to
changing tasks and tools is key.
- The ability to handle critical feedback well. They view it as
an opportunity to deliver greater value to our readers.
- Experience with data entry work, databases, or spreadsheets is
The Ballot Measures Team Staff Writer will work remotely from their
home location. All Ballotpedia staff work remotely. To join
Ballotpedia, you must have a computer with Internet access.
Ballotpedia uses the Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive
and more), Slack, and Asana to accomplish our goals. Some
familiarity with the Google Suite, Slack, and Asana are
Ballotpedia has a flexible work environment, BP Flex, in which
every employee enjoys unlimited vacation and flexibility in
scheduling. Each employee will be oriented to the principles of
Ballotpedia's flexible environment during new employee
The starting pay range for the Ballot Measures Team Staff Writer is
$38,000-$40,000, commensurate with experience.
In addition to salary, Ballotpedia offers an annual benefits
stipend equivalent to $7,000 that is paid out in equal increments
in each paycheck once an employee becomes benefits eligible
following a brief review period. The stipend may be used to pay for
a full benefits package, including health, vision, and dental
insurance; retirement accounts; and more. If benefits are not
elected, the stipend is taxed as regular income and added to
To apply please visit our job opportunities page and complete an
application on our website. Please attach the following in PDF
format if possible:
- cover letter detailing your interest in Ballotpedia's
- neutral writing sample (under five pages)
Please ensure that either your r--sum-- or your cover letter
include your current address.
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