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# Due to the laws and mechanics of the American presidential election

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Due to the laws and mechanics of the American presidential election  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2018, 09:07
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Due to the laws and mechanics of the American presidential election system, the plurality winner of a state’s popular vote generally gains that state’s entire electoral vote. Thus, the winner of the national election is not necessarily the most popular candidate. In the 30 presidential elections from 1880 to 2000, there were two occasions in which the winner of the presidential election did not win a plurality of the popular votes and ten occasions in which the president chosen by this system did not receive the majority of votes cast. Some critics believe that the electoral process should be replaced by a system that might better choose a president who is the most popular candidate among voters. Proposed alternatives include multiple rounds of elections, “approval voting,” and “rank voting.”

In the approval voting system, each voter can cast votes for as many candidates as he or she wishes. A voter can select one candidate whom he or she favors, or a voter who disapproves of certain candidates can vote for every candidate except the ones whom he or she opposes. The Secretary General of the United Nations is elected using approval voting, and, in a 1990 statewide referendum using the approval voting system, Oregon voters chose from five options for school financing. The approval voting system, however, can be confusing, and it can, theoretically, work against candidates who take strong stands on the issues and therefore attract disapproval.

Rank voting is known more formally as “Borda voting” after its first known proponent, Jean Charles Borda. In this scheme, each voter can rank candidates from first to last. Depending on the number of candidates, each position would represent a number of points. For instance, if there were five candidates, the candidate ranked first would get five points, the candidate ranked second would get four points, and so on.
The candidate with the most points in the end would be the winner. Rank voting is used in the United States by the Associated Press to choose the best college sports teams, and a variant is used in most Australian elections. The rank system is advocated by a number of noted scholars, but it is criticized by some because the candidate ranked first by a majority of voters can still lose. For example, a candidate who is ranked second by 80 percent of the voters could end up with more points than one who is ranked first by 52 percent of the voters.

Although alternative voting systems offer noteworthy alternatives to the current process, there is not enough support for an alternative system in the United States to make its adoption likely in the near future on a national scale.
1) Which of the following best describes the main function of the first paragraph?
A) To lament the nondemocratic nature of the U.S. presidential election system, and to provide alternatives to elections as a means of selecting presidents
B) To show that the winner of a U.S. presidential election isn’t necessarily the most popular candidate, and to explain that some critics suggest modifying the system
C) To describe alternatives for the current U.S. presidential election system, and to advocate the acceptance of one alternative
D) To attack the results of U.S. presidential elections, and to warn of the dangers of not adopting an alternative election system
E) To advocate a sweeping reform of the U.S. presidential election system, and to provide evidentiary support for such a reform

2) It can be inferred from the passage that in a U.S. presidential election, the selection of the candidate most popular among the voters
A) is more important than the other results that might be generated from the use of a particular election system.
B) would be attained through the use of the approval system for presidential elections.
C) has occurred in only a minority of U.S. presidential elections since 1880.
D) is critical to the maintenance of democratic institutions in the United States.
E) might be achieved through multiple rounds of elections.

3. The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to
A) advocate a new system for electing presidents in the United States.
B) explain how the winner of the popular vote can lose the electoral vote.
C) argue that the current electoral system should be replaced with a rank voting system.
D) describe alternatives to the current U.S. presidential election system.
E) demonstrate that the current system of electing U.S. presidents is out-of-date.

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Re: Due to the laws and mechanics of the American presidential election  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2018, 11:23
2) It can be inferred from the passage that in a U.S. presidential election, the selection of the candidate most popular among the voters
A) is more important than the other results that might be generated from the use of a particular election system.
B) would be attained through the use of the approval system for presidential elections.
C) has occurred in only a minority of U.S. presidential elections since 1880.
D) is critical to the maintenance of democratic institutions in the United States.
E) might be achieved through multiple rounds of elections.

My thought- though It is mentioned in the 1st para, that alternatives(Approval & Rank Voting) are suggested by the critics of the current system, the author's tone was somewhat pessimistic towards the same as mentioned in the last line of the last para while the option E has a somewhat optimistic tone. Then why E? souvonik2k
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Re: Due to the laws and mechanics of the American presidential election  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2018, 16:20
rajk3433 wrote:
2) It can be inferred from the passage that in a U.S. presidential election, the selection of the candidate most popular among the voters
A) is more important than the other results that might be generated from the use of a particular election system.
B) would be attained through the use of the approval system for presidential elections.
C) has occurred in only a minority of U.S. presidential elections since 1880.
D) is critical to the maintenance of democratic institutions in the United States.
E) might be achieved through multiple rounds of elections.

My thought- though It is mentioned in the 1st para, that alternatives(Approval & Rank Voting) are suggested by the critics of the current system, the author's tone was somewhat pessimistic towards the same as mentioned in the last line of the last para while the option E has a somewhat optimistic tone. Then why E? souvonik2k

rajk3433

A, C and D can be easily eliminated.

Between B and E - B is never started in the passage. Option B can not be clearly interpreted from para 2.

However, option E can be interpreted from 1 para last 2 lines.

"Some critics believe that the electoral process should be replaced by a system that might better choose a president who is the most popular candidate among voters. Proposed alternatives include multiple rounds of elections, “approval voting,” and “rank voting".”

Hope this helps!!

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Re: Due to the laws and mechanics of the American presidential election  [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2018, 07:15
rajk3433 wrote:
2) It can be inferred from the passage that in a U.S. presidential election, the selection of the candidate most popular among the voters
A) is more important than the other results that might be generated from the use of a particular election system.
B) would be attained through the use of the approval system for presidential elections.
C) has occurred in only a minority of U.S. presidential elections since 1880.
D) is critical to the maintenance of democratic institutions in the United States.
E) might be achieved through multiple rounds of elections.

My thought- though It is mentioned in the 1st para, that alternatives(Approval & Rank Voting) are suggested by the critics of the current system, the author's tone was somewhat pessimistic towards the same as mentioned in the last line of the last para while the option E has a somewhat optimistic tone. Then why E? souvonik2k

Hi

My understanding is that it's a false statement. Relevant text: "In the 30 presidential elections from 1880 to 2000, there were two occasions in which the winner of the presidential election did not win a plurality of the popular votes and ten occasions in which the president chosen by this system did not receive the majority of votes cast." So from the underline we can infer that the other times the presidential election won a plurality of the popular votes. If my reasoning is correct, then 28 out of 30 cannot be a minority.
Re: Due to the laws and mechanics of the American presidential election   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2018, 07:15
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