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An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
(a country, administrative region, or other
polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resourc ...
) created to provide its population with representation in the larger state's
legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure i ...
. That body, or the state's constitution or a body established for that purpose, determines each district's boundaries and whether each will be represented by a single member or multiple members. Generally, only voters (''constituents'') who reside within the district are permitted to vote in an
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
held there. District representatives may be elected by a
first-past-the-post In a first-past-the-post electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are org ...
system, a
proportional representative
proportional representative
system, or another
voting method Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an Election#Electorate, election, especially their number e.g. the term ''size of (the) electorate'' * The domi ...
. They may be selected by a
direct election Direct election is a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the persons or political party that they desire to see elected. The method by which the winner or winners of a direct election are chosen ...
under
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (a ...
, an
indirect election An election with electoral delegates is an election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office.
, or another form of
suffrage Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (although the term is sometimes used for any right to ). In some languages, and occasionally in English, the right to vote is called activ ...

suffrage
.


Terminology

The names for electoral districts vary across countries and, occasionally, for the office being elected. The term ''constituency'' is commonly used to refer to an electoral district, especially in British English, but it can also refer to the body of eligible voters or all the residents of the represented area or only those who voted for a certain candidate. The terms ''(election) precinct'' and ''election district'' are more common in American English. In Australia and New Zealand, electoral districts are called ''electorates'', however elsewhere the term ''electorate'' generally refers specifically to the body of voters. In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
electoral districts are referred to as "''Nirvācan Kṣetra''" ( hi, निर्वाचन क्षेत्र) in
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida . ''May Śiv ...

Hindi
, which can be literally translated to English as "electoral area" though the official English translation for the term is "constituency". The term "Nirvācan Kṣetra" is used while referring to an electoral district in general irrespective of the legislature. When referring to a particular legislative constituency, it is simply referred to as "Kṣetra" along with the name of the legislature, in Hindi (e.g. 'Lok Sabha Kshetra' for a
Lok Sabha The Lok Sabha, wikisource:Constitution_of_India/Part_V#Article_93, constitutionally the House of the People, is the lower house of India's Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of India, Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. M ...

Lok Sabha
constituency). Electoral districts for municipal or other local bodies are called "wards". In Canada, districts are colloquially called in English '' ridings'' (stemming from an earlier British geographical subdivision). In some parts of Canada, "constituencies" is used for provincial districts and "ridings" for federal districts. In colloquial French, they are called ''comtés'', "counties" (''circonscriptions'' is the legal term). Local electoral districts are sometimes called ''
ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for example the psychiatric ward * Prison ward, a division of a pen ...
s'', a term also used for administrative subdivisions of a municipality. However, in
the Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 Counties of Ireland, counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the ...
, voting districts are called " electoral areas".


District magnitude

''District magnitude'' is a term invented by the American political scientist Douglas W. Rae in his 1967 dissertation ''The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws''. It refers to the number of seats assigned to each district, and thus the easiness to be elected, as the threshold ''de facto'' decreases in proportion. The concept of magnitude explains Duverger's observation that Plurality voting tends to produce two-party systems, and PR methods tend to produce multi-party systems. District magnitude is minimal (exactly 1): * in
Plurality voting Plurality voting is an electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are organized by gover ...
in ''
single-member district A single-member district is an electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or ...
s'' (as in most cases) *
general ticket General ticket representation is a type of block voting in which voters opt for a party, or a team's set list of candidates, and the highest-polling one becomes the winner. It, unless tempered to apply to a specific proportion, arrives at a 100% re ...

general ticket
,
plurality block voting Multiple non-transferable vote (MNTV), also known as plurality-at-large voting, block vote, block voting, or party block voting is a non-proportional representation, proportional voting system for electing several representatives from a single mu ...
(in
plural district A plural district was a district in the United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the United States Senate, Senate being the upper house. Togethe ...
s) and certain pro-landslide
party-list system A party-list system is a type of electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are ...
s in ''
multi-member district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state St ...
s'' (rarely used nationwide nowadays) District magnitude is maximized: * for jurisdictions with a single electoral district for the whole elected body. This includes the legislatures of:
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
(1 district for 26.7 million registered people and 400 seats),
the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...
(1 district for 13 million and 150 seats),
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...
(13 million, 250 seats),
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...
(6.584 million, 250 seats),
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
(6.578 million, 120 seats),
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...
(4.4 million, 150 seats),
Moldova Moldova (, ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...
(3 million, 101 seats). In each of these cases, it only takes these fractions of the nation's electorate to capture one more seat. * for jurisdictions using both local multi-member constituencies (of various district magnitudes, and seat-to-vote disproportions), and national
leveling seatsLeveling seats ( da, tillægsmandat, sv, utjämningsmandat, no, utjevningsmandater, is, jöfnunarsæti, german: Ausgleichsmandat), commonly known also as adjustment seats, are an election mechanism employed for many years by all Nordic countries ...
, when the nationwide results have priority. That is the case in Scandinavia:
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...
(6.53 million, 349 seats, ''see
apportionment The legal term apportionment (french: apportionement; Mediaeval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was ...
article''),
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...
(4.2 million, 179 seats),
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...
(3.7 million, 169 seats),
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...
(0.2 million, 63 seats). Since 2017, Germany's Bundestag is also made up of additional members meant to make up for imbalances in the number of MPs by state (due to the
overhang seat Overhang seats are constituency seats won in an election under the traditional mixed member proportional Mixed-member proportional representation (MMP or MMPR) is a mixed electoral system in which voters get two votes: one to decide the legis ...
s) District magnitude may be set at an equal number of seats. Examples: all districts of the Northern Irish Assembly elect 6 members, all those of the
Parliament of Malta The Parliament of Malta ( mt, Il-Parlament ta' Malta or also known as ''Il-Maħdet ta' Malta'') is the constitutional legislative body in Malta Malta (, ; in Maltese: ; Italian: ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubbl ...

Parliament of Malta
send 5 MPs, whereas Chile, between 1989 and 2013, used a method called binomial voting which assigned 2 MPs to each district. In many cases, however, multi-member constituencies correspond to already existing jurisdictions (region, district, ward), which creates differences in district magnitude: *
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
for the
Dáil Éireann Dáil Éireann ( , ; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community i ...
: 3-, 4-, and 5- member districts. *
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...
for half of the Special Administrative Region's Legislature, the LegCo: 5- to 9- member districts. *The
New Hampshire House of Representatives The New Hampshire House of Representatives is the lower house in the New Hampshire General Court, the bicameral State legislature (United States), legislature of the state of New Hampshire. The House of Representatives consists of 400 members comin ...

New Hampshire House of Representatives
: 1- to 11-member districts. The concept of district magnitude helps explains why Duverger's speculated correlation between Proportional Representation and party system fragmentation has many counter-examples, as PR methods combined with small-sized multi-member constituencies may produce a low
effective number of partiesThe effective number of parties is a concept introduced by Laakso and Taagepera (1979) which provides for an adjusted number of political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's electio ...
. The inverse of the district magnitude plus one is the
Droop quota The Droop quota is the quota most commonly used in elections held under the single transferable vote (STV) system. It is also sometimes used in elections held under the largest remainder method of party-list proportional representation (list PR ...
which provides the mathematical threshold to ensure election (probabilistic threshold should include the likely number of votes wasted to minor lists). For instance, a 10%-polling party will not win a seat in a 5-member district (Droop quota of 1/6=16.67%) but will do so in a 9-member district as this is the minimum to exceed a
Droop quota The Droop quota is the quota most commonly used in elections held under the single transferable vote (STV) system. It is also sometimes used in elections held under the largest remainder method of party-list proportional representation (list PR ...
(1/10=10%). Larger district magnitudes annihilate the need and practice of
gerrymandering In representative democracies, Gerrymandering (, originally ) refers to political manipulation of electoral district boundaries with the intent of creating undue advantage for a party, group, or socio-economic class within the constituency. ...

gerrymandering
, which is the practice of partisan redistricting by means of creating imbalances in the make-up of the district map. A higher magnitude means less wasted votes, and less room for such maneuvers.


Minorities

Magnitude is a major factor in the inclusion of minorities. Plurality (and other elections with lower district magnitudes) are known to limit the representation of minorities.
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), also cited as J. S. Mill, was an English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most i ...
had first proposed
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
(PR) in the mid-19th century precisely to respond to this shortcoming. With lower district magnitudes, the only way to include demographic minorities scattered across the country is to force parties to include them: * women: some gender quotas may compel registered parties to a certain sex ratio between the candidates they put forward in single-seat districts. This can also be an internal policy, as the one used by the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
since 1995 (see
All-women shortlist All-women shortlists (AWS) is an affirmative action practice intended to increase the proportion of female Members of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many countri ...
). * ethnic groups: ** such a system is in use in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...
which requires one team member (at least) to be of a different race from the others. This is the system of the numerically dominant Group Representation Constituencies. ** in the United States, the Supreme Court ruled that districts should be drawn so as to create a number of minority-majority districts proportional to the minority population of the area (see
Majority minority in the United States In the United States of America, majority-minority area or minority-majority area is a term describing a U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, ...
). This is an implicit, not explicit requirement, based on zoning. ** in New Zealand, the Maori electorates have been in use for over a century so that voters of Maori extraction can elect their own MPs ; contrary to the US' solution, the Maori electorates overlap the generic electorates. And unlike the US, the distinction between ethnies is explicit. Greater magnitudes increase the chance for diverse walks of life and
minority group A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer in numbers than the main groups of those classifications. However, in present-day sociology, ...
s to be elected. However, it is not synonymous with
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
. A
closed list Closed list describes the variant of party-list systems where voters can (effectively) only vote for political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is co ...
PR method, for instance, gives the party machine the power to rank the candidates on the party list. In this case, greater magnitudes help minorities only if the party machines choose to include them.


Apportionment and redistricting

''Apportionment'' is the process of allocating a number of representatives to different regions, such as states or provinces. Apportionment changes are often accompanied by ''redistricting'', the redrawing of electoral district boundaries to accommodate the new number of representatives. This redrawing is necessary under single-member district systems, as each new representative requires their own district. Multi-member systems, however, vary depending on other rules. Ireland, for example, redraws its electoral districts after every
census A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In ...

census
§5: Establishment of Constituency Commission; Electoral Act, 1997
Irish Statute Book while
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
uses its existing administrative boundaries for electoral districts and instead modifies the number of representatives allotted to each.
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
and the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
are among the few countries that avoid the need for apportionment entirely by electing legislators
at-large At-large is a description for members of a governing body who are elect An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office.
. Apportionment is generally done on the basis of
population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size of the resident population within their jurisdiction by a process called a ...

population
. Seats in the
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the United States Senate, Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national Bicameralism, bicameral legislature of the United S ...
, for instance, are reapportioned to individual states every 10 years following a census, with some states that have grown in population gaining seats. By contrast, seats in the Cantonal Council of Zürich are reapportioned in every election based on the number of votes cast in each district, which is only made possible by use of multi-member districts, and the
House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina The House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, Dom naroda Bosne i Hercegovine/Дом народа Босне и Херцеговине) is one of the two chambers of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the other ch ...
, by contrast, is apportioned without regard to population; the three major ethnic groups -
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
,
Serbs Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
, and
Croats Croats (; hr, Hrvati ), also known as Croatians, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, o ...

Croats
- each get exactly five members. ''
Malapportionment Apportionment is the process by which seats in a legislative body are distributed among administrative divisions Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first ...
'' occurs when voters are under- or over-represented due to variation in district population. In some places, geographical area is allowed to affect apportionment, with rural areas with sparse populations allocated more seats per elector: for example in Iceland, the Falkland Islands, Scottish islands, and (partly) in US Senate elections.


Gerrymandering

''Gerrymandering'' is the manipulation of electoral district boundaries for political gain. By creating a few "forfeit" districts where opposing candidates win overwhelmingly, gerrymandering politicians can manufacture more, but narrower, wins for themselves and their party. Gerrymandering relies on the wasted-vote effect, effectively concentrating wasted votes among opponents while minimizing wasted votes among supporters. Consequently, gerrymandering is typically done under voting systems using single-member districts, which have more wasted votes. While much more difficult, gerrymandering can also be done under proportional-voting systems when districts elect very few seats. By making three-member districts in regions where a particular group has a slight majority, for instance, gerrymandering politicians can obtain 2/3 of that district's seats. Similarly, by making four-member districts in regions where the same group has slightly less than a majority, gerrymandering politicians can still secure exactly half of the seats. However, any possible gerrymandering that theoretically could occur would be much less effective because minority groups can still elect at least one representative if they make up a significant percentage of the population (e.g. 20-25%), compared to single-member districts where 40-49% of the voters can be essentially shut out from any representation


Swing seats and safe seats

Sometimes, particularly under non-proportional winner-take-all voting systems, electoral districts can be prone to landslide victories. A ''safe seat'' is one that is very unlikely to be won by a rival politician due to the makeup of its
constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state St ...
. Conversely, a ''swing seat'' is one that could easily ''swing'' either way. In
United Kingdom general elections United may refer to: Places * United, Pennsylvania United is located in . It is a community located near . History In 1881, the , organized by a group of businessmen, opened the United Mine and Coke Works in Mount Pleasant Township. Served b ...
and
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
presidential and congressional elections, the voting in a relatively small number of swing seats usually determines the outcome of the entire election. Many politicians aspire to have safe seats. In large
multi-party system In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decis ...
s like
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, swing seats can lead to a hung assembly like situation if a significant number of seats go for regional parties instead of the larger national parties who are the main competitors at the national or state level, as was the situation in the
Lok Sabha The Lok Sabha, wikisource:Constitution_of_India/Part_V#Article_93, constitutionally the House of the People, is the lower house of India's Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of India, Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. M ...

Lok Sabha
(Lower house of the
Parliament of India The Parliament of India (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scien ...
) during the 1990s.


Constituency work

Elected representatives may spend much of the time serving the needs or demands of individual ''constituents'', meaning either voters or residents of their district. This is more common in assemblies with many single-member or small districts than those with fewer, larger districts. In a looser sense, corporations and other such organizations can be referred to as constituents, if they have a significant presence in an area. Many assemblies allow free postage (through
franking privilege Franking comprises all devices, markings, or combinations thereof ("franks") applied to mails of any class which qualifies them to be postally serviced. Types of franks include uncanceled and precanceled postage stamps (both adhesive and printed on ...
or prepaid envelopes) from a representative to a constituent, and often free telecommunications. Caseworkers may be employed by representatives to assist constituents with problems. Members of the
U.S. Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Wa ...

U.S. Congress
(both Representatives and Senators) working in Washington, D.C. have a governmentally staffed district office to aid in constituent services. Many state legislatures have followed suit. Likewise,
British MPs In the United Kingdom, a Member of Parliament (MP) is an individual elected to serve in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Electoral system All 650 members of the UK Parliament ...

British MPs
use their Parliamentary staffing allowance to appoint staff for constituency casework.
Client politics Client politics is the type of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or stat ...
and
pork barrel ''Pork barrel'', or simply ''pork'', is a metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rheto ...
politics are associated with constituency work.


Special constituencies with additional membership requirements

In some elected assemblies, some or all constituencies may group voters based on some criterion other than, or in addition to, the location they live. Examples include: * By ethnic groups:
Communal constituencies A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property, possessions, and resources in common. In some communes, the people also share common Employment, work, income, or assets. ...
in Fiji; reserved seats in India for
Anglo-Indian The term Anglo-Indian can refer to at least two groups of people: those with multiracial people, mixed Indian people, Indian and British people, British ancestry and people of British descent born or residing in India. The latter sense is now ...
s and
scheduled castes and scheduled tribes The Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are officially designated groups of people and among the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups in India. The terms are recognized in the Constitution of India and the groups are designa ...
; Māori electorates in New Zealand. * By qualification:
University constituency A university constituency is a constituency, used in elections to a legislature, that represents the members of one or more universities rather than residents of a geographical area. These may or may not involve plural voting, in which voters are ...
in Ireland and formerly the United Kingdom,
functional constituency A functional constituency is an electoral device (a non-geographical constituency) used within the political systems of two Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of C ...
in Hong Kong * By residence outside the country:
Overseas constituenciesAn overseas constituency or overseas electoral district is any electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electora ...
in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...


Voting without constituencies

Not all democratic political systems use separate districts or other electoral subdivisions to conduct elections.
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
, for instance, conducts parliamentary elections as a single district. While the 26 electoral districts in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
and the 20 in the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...
have a role in the actual election, but no role whatsoever in the division of the seats.
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
elected half of the
Verkhovna Rada The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ( uk, Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, translit=, Verkhovna Rada Ukraïny, translation=Supreme Council of Ukraine, Ukrainian abbreviation ''ВРУ''), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada, is the ...
(the Ukrainian Parliament) in this way in the elections in October 2012."Parliament Passes Law on Parliamentary Elections"
''
Kyiv Post The ''Kyiv Post'' is Ukraine's oldest English-language newspaper. On 8 November 2021, the newspaper was temporarily shut down after the editorial staff's disagreement with planned changes to the outlet led to the owner firing all reporters. On 11 ...
'', 17 November 2011.


References

{{Authority control Elections Electoral systems Types of administrative division