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A ward is a local authority area, typically used for electoral purposes. Wards are usually named after neighbourhoods, thoroughfares, parishes, landmarks, geographical features and in some cases historical figures connected to the area.[where?] It is common in the United States for wards to simply be numbered.
In Swahili/Kiswahili Local Ward is called Kata.
In Australia, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, they are an electoral district within a district or municipality, used in local government elections. In the United States, wards are usually subdivided into precincts for polling purposes.
In the Republic of Ireland, urban Wards and rural District Electoral Divisions were renamed Electoral Divisions in 1994. The electoral districts for local authorities are often popularly called "wards". These consist of multiple electoral divisions, and are officially called "local electoral areas".
In the case of a municipal amalgamation, the former cities and towns that make up the new metropolis may be referred to as wards.