These questions refer to Borda's paper on elections by ballot and to Condorcet's analysis of the problem in his Essai.
If you'd like to know more about twentieth-century developments related to the questions raised by Borda and Condorcet, look at the book For All Practical Purposes, which has a chapter on social choice theory. The most important twentieth century development is known as ``Arrow's Theorem,'' and it is due to Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel prize winner in economics, so another way of learning more is to read his books (the library has a bunch of them). Social choice theory is still a very active field that lies in the intersection between mathematics, economics, and political science.
Fernando Q. Gouvea