About the Candidate Guide
Each election we publish a candidate information guide featuring all contested candidates running in Champaign County.
We have created our online candidate guide website using a combination of off-the-shelf open source software and custom php code.
Where does the information for the candidates come from?
The internet. And the candidates. For the first sweep of the guide, we collect as much publicly available information as we can find. Then, we send a questionnaire to each contested candidate. We ask each candidate the same set of questions. We also ask them if any of the information or pictures we have are inaccurate or need updating.
We set a hard deadline for the candidates to get the questionnaire answers back to us.
We make multiple contact attempts to assure that the candidates have received our questionnaire. Including email, phone calls, reaching out to local party officials, and finally certified letter.
If a candidate has not responded to our questionnaire, we let you know.
How are the candidates ordered?
First, we only feature candidates in contested races. There are often races for a seat that have only one candidate running and go unchallenged or uncontested. We do not list these races, as it doesn’t really matter if you vote for that candidate or not, they will still win.
At the top of the guide is a Random Race Spotlight. With many candidates running for a variety of positions, it can be easy for important contests to go overlooked further down the page. We hope this random spotlight can help elevate some of the lesser known local races.
For the order of the rest of the races, we organize it from Federal to Local, and then by importance or salary. So US Senate before US Congress, and Circuit Judge before Circuit Clerk. And so on.
When the candidate guide is first loaded, it generates a random seed that determines the order of parties. This random seed doesn’t change until the page is reloaded. As you scroll down the guide, in a general election, it will alternate which party is shown first for that race. For Primaries, we randomize which party we show first, and then for each race the batch of candidates is randomized on the page load.
We do this to try and be as fair as possible to each party and each candidate.
How is this website funded, who is behind it, can we trust it?
This website is maintained by the Champaign County Voters Alliance (CCVA) in partnership with the Champaign County League of Women Voters (LWVCC). Both organizations are non-partisan and make no endorsements of candidates or parties. Funding for this website comes out-of-pocket & from donations to these organizations. Overall maintenance costs & hosting fees are not too high, but it takes a generous amount of volunteer hours to put together each election.
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