Electoral process in which the candidate who polls more votes than any other candidate is elected. It is distinguished from the majority system, in which, to win, a candidate must receive more votes than all other candidates combined. It is the most common method of selecting candidates for public office. Its chief advantage is that it avoids the need for runoffs to produce a winner. Its chief disadvantage is that it may result in a winner who has received a minority of the votes cast. It operates best in a two-party system, where the small vote for any third party will rarely result in an outcome seriously at odds with the voters' will.
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