ACLU - “American Civil Liberties Union”. A nonprofit organization that aims to defend the rights of every individual in the United States.
Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding (BISG) - Utilizes geocoding and surname racial distributions to estimate probabilities of racial categories for an individual. First introduced by Elliot et al (2009).
Census block - A geographical area that is generally small, and bounded by physical features such as streams. Generally the size of a city block.
Census tract - A geographical area designated by the Census which is larger than a block. Census tracts typically have 2,500 to 8,000 people.
Coordinate Reference System - Defines how a two-dimensional, projected map relates to real places on the earth.
CRAN - “Comprehensive R Archive Network”. A network that provides up to date R packages for download.
CVAP - “Citizen Voting Age Population”. Provides information on the population that is eligible to vote.
Ecological Inference (EI) - The statistical process of using patterns in ecological units to infer behaviors at an individual level. In the political science literature, there are two main approaches to EI:
ei - ecological inference package created by King and Roberts.
eiCompare - Package originally authored by Loren Collingwood to conduct and compare iterative and RxC EI analyses.
eiPack - RxC ecological inference package created by Law, Moore, and Kellermann.
Geocoding - The process of converting addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates.
Gelman plot - A diagnostic plot used to assess whether the samples generated by an MCMC procedure are sufficiently close to their posterior distribution.
Gingles Test - A test to prove racially polarized voting, 3 conditions from the Voting Rights Act must be met.
Goodman’s regression - One of the simplest approaches to the ecological inference problem, where the underlying assumption is that individuals in a racial group vote similarly no matter the ecological unit.
Markov Chain Monte Carlo - A statistical process by which samples from a probability distribution can be generated. Typically used to perform inference in Bayesian models, such as RxC EI.
NAACP - “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People”. A civil rights organization that strives for a society where all individuals are treated without discrimination based on their race.
NDRC - “National Democratic Redistricting Committee”. Aims to create fair districts.
NYCLU - “New York Civil Liberties Union”. ACLU of New York.
Performance/functionality analysis - An analysis used to assess whether a new, proposed districting map would provide sufficient minority representation by examining how it performs in past elections.
Racially Polarized Voting (RPV) - Racially polarized voting occurs when voters of different racial or ethnic groups exhibit very different candidate preferences in an election. In other words, voters of different racial groups are voting in different directions, rather than a coalition.
Tomography plot - A diagnostic plot used to assess the degree to which election data can be well described by the underlying model in King’s EI.
Voter File - A data file that includes information on registered voters. Does not necessarily include race or voter history data.
Voting Rights Act - Act signed into law in 1965 to prohibit racial discrimination in voting practices.
WRU - “Who Are You” package created by Imai and Khanna.
Vignette - A vignette is a long-form guide to an R package. It can be thought of as a tutorial for a particular use case of the package. Typically, it’s more detailed than an API or a simple example.