The Lost Coast Outpost hereby declares election season officially open in Humboldt County. 

And with this declaration we introduce a special Outpost subsite: LoCOElections. Yes! LoCOElections has quite a few cool features, but mainly it serves as the place where you, the Lost Coast Outpost reader/contributor/citizen journalist/community member, put your questions directly to the candidates in all the major races facing Humboldt County. 

And what’s more, the candidates will respond! Or at least some of them will. We haven’t yet floated this by absolutely everyone, but all the candidates we’ve contacted have been moderately to extremely enthusiastic about participating in this, a new experiment in Humboldt County electioneering. (Note to candidates: Drop me a line at hank@lostcoastoutpost.com or 786-5104 and I will set you up with login credentials).

Now, since it’s not completely self-explanatory, let’s take a little tour through LoCOElections.

Check the LoCOElections main page, there. You’ll find, for the moment, a list of all candidates in major races. We’ll probably add the uncontested races — Sheriff, Clerk-Recorder, Treasurer, etc. — soon. Click on one of the candidate’s names and you’ll find links to their campaign websites and/or Facebook pages, along with their most recent press releases. More features soon.

Underneath that, now, is where you find the secret sauce. These are all the questions that the Outpost community have put to the candidates, along with their relative importance, as indicated by the number of upvotes to the right of the question title.

What’s that, you say? You don’t see a list of questions? That’s because we only just launched this thing. So get cracking and submit your own question! You see that “Submit Your Question” link? Click it and a little form pops up. Fill out that form and hit “submit.” You can choose to ask your question of one, many or all candidates in a particular race. Still confused? Here’s a pictorial example

Now, when your question is submitted it goes to LoCO staff for approval. These things are very lightly screened, because we don’t want to waste candidates’ time with all the standard LoCO commentariat in-jokes, flights of fancy and hate speech. We want good questions.

But oh, look! Our example question seems to have nevertheless make it past the Outpost censors. Here it is, and look! Two people have upvoted it by clicking the little upvote button! You can go ahead and click that button too, if you like the question.

Those upvotes seem to have gotten Mr. Jugashvili’s attention, because he has offered a detailed response. Democracy in action! Now that a candidate has responded, the floor is opened for comments.

Get it? Got it? Good! And since you’ve understood, let’s get electionizing! Start submitting your questions now! Candidates, you got my digits!

Election on!