YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A local reverend and community leader filed a federal lawsuit against Ohio’s new Congressional and State Senate map.

Reverend Kenneth Simon and Helen Youngblood filed the suit naming Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, House Speaker Robert Cupp, Senate President Matt Huffman, Auditor Keith Faber, the Ohio Redistricting Commission and Ohio Attorney General David Yost as defendants.

Simon and Youngblood cite the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution when they allege that the new Congressional and State Senate map amounts to racial discrimination against Black voters with its drawing of legislative districts in Mahoning County

They say the new map puts Black voters in Youngstown and Warren into separate Ohio Senate districts and will “submerge Youngstown and Warren Black voters into a Congressional District with extreme racially polarized voting.”

They say the methodology used to craft the map results in less opportunity than other voters to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of choice and also creates “racial polarization and social conflict.”

Simon and Youngblood want the redistricting declared invalid because it violates the Voting Rights Act and that no future elections be conducted using the new map. They are also asking for restitution of attorney fees.