Business Math For Dummies
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Many real-life problems involve adding and subtracting percents. For example, percents can represent answers in polls, votes in an election, or portions of a budget, and the total often has to add up to 100%. You may also see such information organized as a pie chart. Here’s an example:

In a recent mayoral election, five candidates were on the ballot. Faber won 39% of the vote, Gustafson won 31%, Ivanovich won 18%, Dixon won 7%, Obermayer won 3%, and the remaining votes went to write-in candidates. What percentage of voters wrote in their selection?

The candidates were in a single election, so all the votes have to total 100%. The first step here is just to add up the five percentages. Then subtract that value from 100%:

39% + 31% + 18% + 7% + 3% = 98%

100% – 98% = 2%

Because 98% of voters voted for one of the five candidates, the remaining 2% wrote in their selections.

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Mary Jane Sterling taught algebra, business calculus, geometry, and finite mathematics at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, for more than 30 years. She is the author of several For Dummies books, including Algebra Workbook For Dummies, Algebra II For Dummies, and Algebra II Workbook For Dummies.

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