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Published: Friday, 6/8/2007

Electoral system put in spotlight by panelists

Political panelists debated the merit of the Electoral College system yesterday during a taping of The Editors television program.

Gerald Bazer, a retired dean of Arts and Sciences from Owens Community College, explained that the Electoral College was created as a compromise between warring writers of the U.S. Constitution, but it still has value today. The system often makes candidates campaign to minorities who they may otherwise ignore, he said.

But many voters believe the system forces candidates to ignore more people because of the heightened importance it places on "swing" states.

"Oftentimes, candidates don't even go to a state; they don't have any media play in a state," said Robert Alexander, an associate professor of political science at Ohio Northern University in Ada.

Such neglect by the candidates hurts voters, Mr. Alexander said.

"They vote less, they're less informed, and they're less likely to participate," he said.

Don Buerke, an associate professor of history at Defiance College, said some states have considered legislation to award their electoral votes to the candidate who has won the popular vote, or to split the electoral votes in proportion to the state's popular vote.

Thomas Walton, vice president and editor of The Blade, interviewed the panelists.

The Editors will be broadcast at 9 tonight on WGTE-TV, Channel 30, and at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on WBGU-TV, Channel 27.

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