CNOtes 9/14/21: Dennis Turner, Gerrymandering in Ohio

CNO Officer Installation Dinner, No Lunch Meeting that Day

The annual CNO officer installation dinner will be on Tuesday 9/28/2021 at Yankee Trace. There will not be a CNO lunch meeting that day. The cost is $20 per person which includes appetizers, full buffet and dessert. There will be a cash bar. Please send your payment via check or cash to Sarah Umbreit no later than 9/20/2021. There are no sign-ups at the door.

No lunch meeting will be held on 9/28/2021.


  • Debe Dockins announced that CNO is holding a Membership Drive where participating members will share in $400 based on the number of points received.  Receive 1 point for bringing a guest to any meeting, 3 points for a returning guest and 10 points for a guest application.  The contest runs through 9/21/2021.
  • Gail Aiken announced she needs volunteers for guides for the Haunted Trail community event. She also needs old white sheets and old dolls.
  • Greg Griffin announced that the tree lot will be open on November 26, 2021. He is looking for 3 volunteers to replace 3 tree lot captains stepping down this year.

Committee Meetings

  • 9/21/2021, 6 PM, Monthly Board of Directors Meeting

Community Events                                

  • Haunted Trail 2021 will be on October 12th and 13th at Countryside Park behind the RecPlex.
  • Debe Dockins announced that Tri-Star soccer will be held late September. It will be held behind Magsig Middle School.

Dennis Turner, Gerrymandering

Carol Smerz introduced Dennis Turner a professor emeritus at the University of Dayton School of Law. He was one of the original 5 faculty members who started the law school in 1974. His family has been in Dayton for 190 years. He and his wife Kathy have 3 children. At the age of 72, Dennis started a new career writing historical fiction. His latest book is titled, “What Did You Do in the War Sister?”

His presentation today was about Gerrymandering. Wikipedia says, “Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts, which is most commonly used in first-past-the-post electoral systems.”

Dennis started off by complaining (with a smile) that it was going to be very difficult to hold himself to a 20-minute presentation when he is a former law professor. This presentation normally takes 2 hours.

Gerrymandering and Redistricting

Current voting districts are designed so that incumbents get re-elected, regardless of party affiliation. One party or the other dominates a given location.

A system that re-elects incumbents all the time is not democratic. With Gerrymandering it is very difficult to stop incumbents from being re-elected. Gerrymandering means that the real election takes place in primary elections.

The first instance of Gerrymandering was to re-elect Elbridge Gerry during 1812 in Essex County, Massachusetts. Someone thought the district map looked like a salamander. The name Gerrymander comes from “Gerry” + “mander”. Click here for a picture of the map and more details on where the term Gerrymander comes from.

In the past Gerrymandering was a guessing game. Now, with mega data and computer power, the districts can be precisely drawn to benefit the incumbent.

Principal Tactics Used in Gerrymandering

  • Packing, concentrating the opposing party’s voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts
  • Cracking, diluting the voting power of the opposing party’s supporters across many districts

Ohio Congressional Districts

Sometimes you can see the intent of Gerrymandering by viewing a map, though sometimes you cannot. In a state like Ohio with a lot of rural areas, there are sometimes natural “packing”. When looking at a districting map of Ohio there are some obvious areas where Gerrymandering has been done. Look at Hamilton and Clermont County on this map. Additionally check out the “snake on the lake” along Lake Erie on the map.

Methods of Keeping an Election Fair

The Ohio party break down is 53% Republican and 47% Democrat. The way the Ohio districts are currently drawn, the break down is 70% Republican and 30% Democrat.

Here are some ideas to overcome the Gerrymander influenced districting:

  • Proportionality districting would mean any district would be created as close as possible to the 53/47 breakdown for the entire state.
  • Competitive districting would mean districts would be created to be as close to a 50/50 split so in any given election either party could win in that district.
  • Ranked voting is the system used in Belgium. Instead of voting for one person you rank all the candidates in order of preference.

Thank You

Thank you, Dennis Turner, for joining us to talk about Gerrymandering in general and specifically in Ohio.

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
McKenzie MorinBill Stone2nd Reading
Anne KohlsMike Bevis2nd Reading
Jackie PowellTom Novak2nd Reading

Welcome Guests!

GuestGuest Of
Dennis TurnerSpeaker
Jackie PowellTom Novak
Anne KohlsMike Bevis

Happy Bucks

Joe MaddenGlad that CNO does not have Gerrymandering in its election process for club officers.
Tom BeeryCancer free for 5 years.
Gary SmigaYoungest son got married in Atlanta over the weekend.
Don KelleyHe and Sandy are celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary.
Gary HansenGrandkids had COVID recently, but no one else got it.
Renee GlennStarts a new job tomorrow and she has recovered from the COVID Delta variant. She was fully vaccinated.
Sue BrubakerDebe Dockins’ recently gave a great talk about Annie Oakley at St Leonard.
Michael KistlerHe and Kattie are celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary.
Kim Senft-ParasGlad to have been invited to today’s meeting and for the great speaker today, Dennis Turner.

Sergeants at Arms

Ron TinnermanHad a great time the last 2 weeks in Switzerland.
Larry LyndeCalled Scott Langer a gentleman.
Patrick ArehartDropped Diane off at the front door of Yankee Trace and then left without opening the door. She had knee surgery last week and was on crutches.
Michael KistlerFor having a beard better than a sergeant can produce.
Joe MaddenNot sitting with his wife at lunch.
Wayne ChristyTook the bell and gavel before the opening ring. Apparently we have rules about how to perform theft appropriately.
Jean PummillHas not yet created a name badge for Kristin Possidomo.
Chris McAlpineSaying to the sergeants today that any two other members could do a way better job than they are doing.
Judy DeMarcoBeen absent from lunch meetings for too long.

Membership Anniversaries

MemberMonthDayJoined# Years
Dean HeyneSeptember149/14/20165
Melissa DeShurkoSeptember149/14/20165
Bill WilliamsSeptember209/20/199328
Denny CottleSeptember209/20/20156


Dawn ArrowoodSeptember 14
Terri LeputaSeptember 19
Bill DeFriesSeptember 19
Will CaleSeptember 20

CNO Donations – 2013 through August 2021

Click here to see a summary of donations the club has made since 2013

Thank You Notes Received

No Thank You notes received this week.

Links to PowerPoint and Pictures

A Copy of this Week’s Meeting PowerPoint Slide Deck is here

The photos taken at Today’s Meeting are here.