About the Candidate Guide
Each election we publish a candidate information guide featuring all contested candidates running in Champaign County.
Where does the information for the candidates come from?
The internet & the candidates. For the first sweep of the guide, we collect as much publicly available information as we can find. Then, we send a short questionnaire to each contested candidate.
We ask each candidate the same set of questions. We also ask them if any of the information or profile photos we have are inaccurate or need updating.
We set a hard deadline for the candidate questionnaires. Roughly 2 weeks from our initial email to the candidates.
We make multiple contact attempts to assure that the candidates have received our questionnaire. This includes multiple emails, phones calls, and Facebook messages.
We reach out to the respective parties, letting them know which ones of their candidates have not yet responded. We ask the local Champaign County parties as well as the state-level parties if they can put us in contact with the campaign staff of any of the missing candidates. Sometimes the parties are able to assist, sometimes they aren’t.
And finally, once exhausting these options, we send the candidate a physical copy of the questionnaire to their registered home address. Using an old fashioned envelope & stamp.
We want to make sure the candidates have no excuses to say we didn’t try to reach them.
We do not endorse candidates — however 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 according to how it will appear on the ballot. Typically with Federal races at the top, followed by State races, followed by County races, and then Local & Municipal-Level races.
When the candidate guide is first loaded, it generates a random number//coin flip that determines the order of parties. This random number 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 each batch of candidates for that party’s race – this is done each time the page is reloaded.
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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