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Subject: Standard Election terms [Glossary]

Included in this list are some key terms we have used at election.com to
define ballot data elements in our election software.
Contest           - Individual issue on a ballot (for an Office or
Referendum).       (AKA Race, Issue, Office)
Candidate       - Vote choice for a contest (AKA Choice, Item)
Party Affiliation- Political party affiliation associated to a contest
or candidate 
District            - A specific geo-political area that defines a
boundary for a ballot contest. When defined, ballot contests are
associated with a specific district. Voters living in that district
should be able to vote on that contest. (e.g. Precinct, School District,
Congressional District, etc.)
Districts Split - Unique combination of all districts in a specific
jurisdiction. By having a unique combination of all districts in a
jurisdiction, a single ballot style can be associated with a single
Districts Split - reducing overall complexity.     (AKA Precinct Split)
Ballot Style     - Unique combination of contest and candidates. This is
essentially a list of issues on a particular ballot. It does not address
the physical presentation of a ballot.
Ballot Format - A format for rendering a ballot. Examples of ballot
formats include: Online Ballot, Individual Paper Ballot Format (ballots
read by various election vendors' hardware - each a separate format),
Full-face ballot display (for adhering to the front of booth-style
voting devices)          
Ballot Layout - A template for a physical ballot. This is the result of
taking a ballot style and rendering it to a particular ballot format.
Ballot Layout data includes detailed information including where issues
appear on a ballot, candidate placement, fonts, colors, images, ballot
and contest headers, footers, etc.           
Header            - Used in ballot layout data. Text, image, or other
detail that appears immediately before a contest or candidate listing.
There may be contest headers, and/or candidate headers.
Footer             - Used in ballot layout data. Text, image, or other
detail that appears immediately after a contest or candidate listing.
There may be contest footers, and/or candidate footers.
Rotation          - Used in ballot layout data. The concept of
presenting candidates (for the same contest) in a different order for
different ballots. Rotation schemes may be very complex and vary from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Sequence        - Order in which a candidate or contest appears on a
ballot. Contest sequence defines the order of importance of the issues
on the ballot. For simple ballot definitions, a candidate sequence
defines a default rotation position of a candidate under a contest.
Ballot Message - Used in ballot layout data. Fixed text, image,
instructions, etc. that appears on a ballot page.
Ballot Style Scenario - Ballot Rotation:
In some jurisdictions a voter's ballot may have the candidates
'rotated'. This prevents one candidate from being at the top of the
candidate list (for a particular contest) on every ballot. There may be
many different iterations of a ballot with the exact same combination of
contests and candidates, but with a different candidate order. In this
scenario, there may be only one Ballot Style, but multiple Ballot
Layouts (one ballot with each permutation of candidate order).
Tracy Lewin

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