A District Field is a geographic segmentation of a state into politically meaningful entities. Common district fields include “Congressional district”, “State senate district”, and “Precinct”. Each district field has multiple District Field Values, indicating the ways the state is segmented. For example, in Washington state, the Congressional district field may have District Field Values “01”, “02”, … “10”.

Some VAN clients have custom districts, which are used to segment a state according to divisions that are meaningful for that client. For example, a Minnesota custom district might have values like “Minneapolis/St. Paul”, “Rochester area”, etc.

Some districts are arranged into hierarchies; a single district in one field is composed of multiple districts from another field. In this case the first District Field is said to be the “parent” of the second District Field, and the values within the first District Field are said to be the “parents” of the values in the second District Field.

For example, in some states a State Senate district is composed of one or more State House districts: State Senate District “1234” is composed of State House Districts “10”, “11”, and “12”. In this case:

  • The “State Senate” District Field is said to be the parent of the “State House” District Field.
  • State Senate District Field Value “1234” is said to be the parent of State House District Field Values “10”, “11”, and “12”.