This is our fourth GED Language Arts practice test. On the GED you will definitely be asked to make specific comparisons between two texts. For this practice test we have provided a news article and a related letter. Continue your GED Language Arts test prep by reading these passages and answering the practice questions.
By Mark Johannsen, Contributing Editor
Portage County Clerk Samantha Gustavson warned residents on Monday about the need for honesty and security with absentee ballots. These ballots, which allow residents to vote in elections even if they are going to be out of town on election day, are “official, legal documents,” she warned in Monday’s news release.
“If someone you know has received an absentee ballot, but will be unable to sign the ballot and return it before November 6, it is a crime for you to sign the ballot envelope for them and return it. Signing this legal document in someone else’s name will put you at personal legal risk and prevent this person’s ballot from being counted.”
Gustavson went on to warn residents that the county clerk’s office has very sophisticated ways of detecting malfeasance and that attempting to forge a ballot is just “not worth it.” According to Ohio state voting laws, anyone convicted of voting twice in an election could face up to 2 years in jail and be forced to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
This news release comes directly on the heels of recent accusations by Republican leadership that voter fraud is a serious problem in our country. When asked, via email, if voter fraud is a serious problem in Portage County, Gustavson responded, “we have no reason to believe that voter fraud is occurring in our county to the degree that it is a ‘problem.’ We just want to be sure that people understand the rules and that no one accidentally puts themselves in legal jeopardy. If someone were to find a blank ballot that is not intended for them, they should discard it immediately or return it to the county clerk’s office.”
To: Portage County Clerk’s Office
From: Ines Mendina, Aurora resident
Date: October 17
Dear Mrs. Gustavson,
I was very upset to read your press release about potential voter fraud with absentee ballots in our county. In an article written in the Aurora Advocate, you stated that you don’t believe voter fraud is a problem in our county. So, why did you need to write a press release about it? We have a serious problem in our country with misinformation, and these types of thoughtless warnings only add fuel to the fire. Republicans in Congress and the Oval Office are screaming about voter fraud and the threat that it poses on our country with no evidence to suggest that any of this fraud is occurring.
Warnings like yours only feed into this rhetoric. Even though you don’t believe it’s a problem, you send out a warning to Portage County residents without thinking twice. Residents see your warning and hear Republican leaders shouting about voter fraud and begin to think that this is a real problem in our county. You need to understand how your actions as an elected official affect your constituents.
If you don’t think voter fraud is a real problem in Portage County, why didn’t you also mention that in your press release? I find it hard to believe that you’re intentionally providing misinformation to our residents in order to sow distrust in the voting process, but whether it was intentional or not, that’s what you have done. Everyone in this country deserves the right to vote and have their voice heard, and it’s carelessness like this that threatens that right. Absentee ballots serve an important role in the voting process, and warnings like these could motivate voters to call for a ban on all absentee votes. Please have your office immediately release a statement expressing your lack of concern over actual voter fraud.
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What is the purpose of including the phrase, “which allow residents to vote in elections even if they are going to be out of town on election day” in the first paragraph of Johannsen’s article?
It’s important for the readers to know what absentee ballots are in order to understand the article.
The county clerk has explained absentee ballots incorrectly and the writer wants to provide the correct information.
According to the article, most residents of Portage County don’t know what absentee ballots are.
The writer is sarcastically suggesting that Portage County shouldn’t allow absentee ballots.
What is the purpose of including information about the legal penalties associated with voter fraud in the news article?
To show residents that the penalty for voter fraud is not very severe, so Gustavson’s, warning isn’t really worth listening to.
To let residents know that Gustavson is telling truth about legal consequences.
To point out to residents that voter fraud is not a real problem in Portage County.
So that residents who want to commit voter fraud know how they will be punished.
What implication is Johannsen making in the opening sentence of his 4th paragraph?
Voter fraud is a big problem in Portage County.
People who fill out absentee ballots are voting illegally.
The county clerk has been motivated by Republican leadership, who assert that voter fraud is a big problem.
The county clerk is not doing her job properly and needs to be investigated.
Which detail in the letter from Ines Mendina supports the idea that the county clerk’s warnings are “thoughtless”?
“…could motivate voters to call for a ban on all absentee votes.”
“I was very upset to read your press release about potential voter fraud…”
“Republicans in Congress and the Oval Office are screaming about voter fraud…”
“I find it hard to believe that you’re intentionally providing misinformation…”
Which of the following words or phrases helps to express Medina’s disappointment with “Republican Leaders”?
“fuel to the fire”
What purpose does the following sentence serve in the letter: “I find it hard to believe that you’re intentionally providing misinformation to our residents in order to sow distrust in the voting process, but whether it was intentional or not, that’s what you have done”?
To directly accuse the county clerk of lying to residents of Portage County.
It supports the writer’s assertion that the county clerk didn’t do anything wrong.
It serves as an accusation that the county clerk is working to support Republican leadership.
It is meant to make the county clerk feel guilty for how her press release has potentially affected residents of Portage County.
Based on the news article and the letter, Johannsen and Mendina share which perspective?
Samantha Gustavson, the County Clerk, is misleading Portage County residents.
Voter fraud is a big problem in Portage County.
Republican leadership instructed Gustavson, either directly or indirectly, to make a press release about fraudulent absentee ballots.
Voter fraud is not a problem in Portage County.
How do the views expressed in Johannsen and Mendina’s passages differ?
Mendina’s passage is an unbiased, while Johannsen’s passage is very opinionated.
Johannsen believes Gustavson is willfully lying to Portage County, while Mendina thinks that Gustavson just doesn’t understand the consequences of her actions.
Johannsen’s passage is an unbiased, while Mendina’s passage is very opinionated.
Mendina believes Gustavson is willfully lying to Portage County, while Johannsen thinks that Gustavson just doesn’t understand the consequences of her actions.
GED Reading Practice Test 5 >>