Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Marietta Times, Nov. 19
We want to add our voice to that of local law enforcement cautioning drivers to avoid drugged driving.
The long-running drug problem in our communities has led to growing alarm about crashes resulting from drivers who are driving while under the influence of drugs. The number of drugged crashes has increased 25 percent since 2012. This year alone there have been 3,574 such crashes.
Officials say it's important for parents to discuss the issue with younger drivers, too...
Officials say young drivers are 50 percent less likely to drive drugged after having discussed the issue with parents.
As the holidays approach, it is more important than ever for drivers to be alert and avoid any medications or alcohol that could impair their driving. Be aware of how alcohol and medications might interact with each other, too.
The volume of cars and truck on the road in upcoming weeks will be greater, so it's important to pay attention at all times when behind the wheel. Enjoy a safe holiday season by avoiding those things that can impair your ability to drive.
The (Findlay) Courier, Nov. 15
Ohio lawmakers did the right thing last year by revamping the mapping process used to determine state legislative districts.
... But the Legislature has yet to move on much-needed congressional redistricting reform, despite apparent widespread support for it.
Under the system used to determine congressional boundaries, the party in power is in charge of drawing maps following a U.S. Census update, the next of which comes in 2020. That means the district lines for U.S. House members get drawn to the majority party's benefit, assuring safe districts for that party.
Gerrymandering, a term often used to describe the manipulating of the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to favor one party or class, splits communities of interest and feeds political extremism, gridlock and bitter divisiveness. It can also make incumbents nearly impossible to beat, and it turns off voters in the process...
But the tables could one day turn, which is enough reason the process should be changed now that the election is behind us. Lawmakers should act before the end of the year to make changes that will make future elections fairer...
...One way or the other, reform needs to take place well before the next census in 2020.
Ohioans deserve a bipartisan, fair and transparent process for drawing district lines for members of Congress...
Sandusky Register, Nov. 21
We think Ohio Gov. John Kasich should take a good look at the decision by the Michigan environmental protection agency to designate all of Lake Erie as impaired, which could trigger tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for preservation and restoration of the lake.
Ohio's designation is limited to the Lake Erie shoreline as being impaired, but it's vague and unclear why the Ohio EPA is resisting a fuller designation the state of Michigan has made.
Kasich should prod the EPA to make its reasons for resisting the broader designation more clear, and be more transparent in doing so.
The dreaded alga bloom has indeed impaired the lake so much so it cratered water quality production in Toledo in 2015, shutting down treatment plants. But there are other factors impacting water quality in the Lake and threatening it's well being.
Pesticides and fertilizers for farms and lawn care, waste treatment facilities on both sides of the lake, including Detroit's, sewer line and stormwater runoff, all are contributing factors...
Kasich and state legislators need to be the innovators and the leaders creating that aggressive legislation needed to protect the state's greatest natural resource, and building the cooperation across the region to ensure the best future possible for the Great Lakes.
Cleveland.com, Nov. 16
For the fourth time in U.S. history, a presidential candidate is going to win the popular vote but lose in the Electoral College.
Democrat Hillary Clinton's popular-vote margin over Republican Donald Trump also bids to be the biggest...
Yes, that rankles in a nation where the popular vote decides every other contest. Even Trump decried the system (before he benefited from it).
But the Electoral College should not be abolished. It provides a needed voice for states where one political party doesn't dominate. That's an incentive for genuine political debate.
Trump won in eight of the 13 "swing" states, including Ohio — racking up a more than an 875,000-vote margin. Clearly he spoke to economic and political realities in those states.
The Electoral College also guarantees that the most populous states don't dictate to the rest of us...
Yes, some of the original reasons for creating the Electoral College do seem antiquated and wrong today. Among them: to guard against voters without access to enough information being able to tip the totals; and to mollify slaveholding states.
But its larger purpose remains valid in preserving a wider range of regional voices in the presidential outcome.
The Electoral College should be retained.