Initiative Constitutional Amendment
Glossary of Terms

A common abbreviation for the year 2000, sometimes "Y2K" when referring to Year 2000 date conflicts in computer operation. "K" stands for thousands.

accumulator method
Procedure for adding the closest census tracts to an unfinished district. Tracts are added until the population of the district is within the gross variance allowed by the average district population.
Jump: Accumulator Animation, Seed Tract, The Method

The distribution of population among a fixed set of geographic areas. States are apportioned seats in the House of Representatives based on the decennial census. Commonly refers to any of the subsequent methods used to district a state for the selection of any electoral representatives.
Jump: The History

census block
Subset of a census tract created for the convenience of tabulation and to provide more specific demographic information on the population. Tracts may include many or no BNA blocks.

census code
The Census Bureau refers to each tract and block by a string of codes. The state code (06 for California) is followed by the county code (58 different codes for California in alphabetic sequence), the tract code (one to three digits, depending on historic assignment) and, where appropriate, a decimal block code (two digits) for various subdivisions and counting conveniences of the census. The resulting code might, for example, be 06118001.02 for an individual block.

census tract
A definite area of occupied land or water area. The Census Bureau maintains boundaries of populated areas which may be adjusted each decade to maintain an approximate count of 5-10,000 persons. Blocks are frequently created within high population tracts to better organize the counting process. When they are changed, tracts are usually subdivided among existing blocks rather than being re-arranged.

Centroid centroid
Geometric center point of an object. Referring to the moving center of the accumulated district boundaries, as distinct from the center point of the original or subsequent tracts. A rough centroid is the simple average distance between the north/south and east/west boundaries. A more accurate, but unnecessary, centroid may be determined from the integration of all opposing points in a shape.
Jump: Centroid Animation, Accumulator Method

commuity of interest
Common districting factor, usually suggesting that cities and counties be maintained whole in any district line drawing. Often vaguely cited, but rarely defined, this element is not included in the Fair Vote 2K Intiative. Commentary: Fair Vote Factor?

Compact compact
Having the smallest perimeter. Two districts may have the same area but irregular objects will have a longer perimeter than more regular (square or round) objects. Tracts are predefined by the Census Bureau and tend to follow irregular geographic or county boundaries. The Centroid Proximate method ensures that the district will have the fewest irregularities, and thus be more compact.
Jump: Geometric Criteria

Contiguous contiguous
Adjacent or next in order. Contiguity does not ensure compactness or proximity, only that the all the areas of a district are connected. Two large tracts connected by a small strand of lengthy highway, a bridge or river course would still be contiguous, but not compact.
Jump: Geometric Criteria

Any legislative act which reduces electoral strength. Gerrymandering favors one group of electors, debasing the political strength of all others.
Jump: Districting Principles

decennial census
Population count required by the constitution every ten years, completed by the end of the first year of each decade.
Jump: Census Apportionment

Granting a special favor to one individual or group over others.
Jump: Districting Principles

Describing the various characteristics of a specific population. The Census Bureau acquires dozens of individual, racial, residential and commercial factors during its count.
Jump: Ethocentric Criteria

Reduction or diminution of a factor. Gerrymandering can reduce the electoral impact of certain electors by packing or fracturing their population.
Jump: Supreme Court

distance measurement

Formula for calculating mileage distances between any two points on earth. Basic method of accumulating the closest tracts in the formation of an electoral district.
Refer: Computer Programming
Jump: Accumulator Animation, Seed Tract

district type
Sets of district for a specific legislative function. Districts for seats in the US House or Representatives are different than the districts for the California State Assembly. The Initiative proposes nesting Assembly districts to form two other types of district: State Senate and the Board of Equalization.
Jump: Initiative Draft, Nesting Method

Process of revising district boundaries in order to balance the population represented by individual members of a district type. Jump: Districting Practice

Equal Protection Clause
Provision of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which requires "equal protection under the law". Precludes individuals or groups from being treated differently by the law.
Link: US Constitution, 14th Amendment
Refer: Court Rulings
Jump: Supreme Court

Relating to racial characteristics. Districting which intends or results in disadvantages to specific racial groups is unconstitutional. Jump: Supreme Court

Relating to the ethos or interests of any group. Districting based on "compelling state interests" is constitutional, but cannot override other stipulated factors. Jump: Ethocentric Criteria

Method of dividing an electoral group into multiple districts to reduce their electoral influence. Ant: packing

Bizarre and grossly disfigured districts named after the salamander shapes created by Eldridge Gerry in Massachusetts. The process of selecting boundaries for political objectives.
Jump: Districting History, Gerry's Gallery

gross variance
The difference between the district with the largest population and the smallest population. May be expressed as a percentage of the average population. The Initiative allows a gross variance of up to one percent for each district type.
Jump: Initiative Draft

nesting method
Procedure for grouping existing districts of one type to create districts of another type. Used in the 1990 census to create State Senate districts from pairs of State Assembly districts. The Initiative also proposes nesting sets of twenty State Assembly districts to create districts for the Board of Equalization.
Jump: Initiative Draft, Nesting Method

Method of batching an electoral group into a single district to reduce their electoral influence.
Ant: fracturing

Considerations based on any variety of combination of political interests.
Gen: policentric
Jump: Policentric Criteria

Granting a unique benefit to an individual or group. Gerrymandering gives a preference to one group of electors over all others.

Proximate proximate
Closest or nearest object. Referring to the tract center that is the least direct distance away from the district centroid. More definitive than adjacent or next in order by reference to the northwest-southwest scan line, used to select the starting tract for the next district compilation. Distance between the centroid and the center points of adjacent tracts can be determined by a simple longtitude/latitude measurement.
Jump: Accumulator Animation, Seed Tract, Accumulator Method

residual tract
Isolated population areas left unassigned if the seed scan does not conform with the state boundaries.

seed scan
Method of selecting the first census tract which will begin the accumulation of population for a district. For the state of California, a Northwest to Southeast scan avoids residual tracts.
Jump: Scan Animation

seed tract
First census tract selected during the seed scan, which becomes the foundation for subsequent accumulation of additional tracts in the formation of a district. Jump: District Seed

tract Mark: census, residual

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