This is from a news podcast.

INSKEEP: On May 3, voters cast ballots in primary elections, but the state has not agreed on district voting maps. This is super basic. It means that candidates do not know who and where they would represent.

I think the word order in the part in bold should be 'voting district maps' as in this sentence.

Legally speaking, there are quite a few new laws for 2022 that could make a difference in your everyday life, ranging from new voting district maps to limits on abortion access, fending off robocallers and sports betting.

Am I wrong?

3 Answers 3


I think you are correct, but it would depend on what is meant by the term.

Both 'district voting map' and 'voting district map' would be compound nouns. The word order in a compound noun is significant.

For example, a 'red racing car' would be a car designed for racing that happens to be red, but a 'racing red car' (if there was such a thing!) would be a red car that just happens to be racing.

Likewise, a 'voting district map' would be a map that shows voting districts (a 'voting district' being an area designated for voting in a particular way). But, a 'district voting map' would be a 'voting map' (and I've no idea what that could be) that belongs to, or represents a particular district. I suppose it could make sense... but I'm not sure how.

  • Thank you very much.
    – user153498
    Mar 29, 2022 at 2:26
  • I've not heard the term before, but intuitively I expect it is a map of where someone can vote within a district. Mar 29, 2022 at 3:06

In this case 'district' is being used to specify what kind of voting map is being discussed. It could have been 'ward' or 'parish' or 'school board'. Note that those examples probably don't actually apply in the country under discussion, but so long as there is the possibility of more than one level of voting with different lines the phrasing makes sense.

  • Thank you very much.
    – user153498
    Mar 28, 2022 at 22:25

Both are okay:

district voting maps = voting maps for a district(s)
voting district maps = district maps for voting

  • 1
    Thank you very much.
    – user153498
    Mar 28, 2022 at 22:26
  • 2
    Absolutely right. +1
    – Lambie
    Mar 28, 2022 at 23:25

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