Two Youngstown pastors and a community activist have filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of black voters seeking reversal of a lower court decision paving the way for an August primary election based on state legislative district maps they say were drawn without considering race.

New Bethel Baptist Church Senior Pastor Kenneth Simon, Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church lead pastor Lewis Macklin II, and long-time community activist Helen Youngblood argue that the lines for the 32nd and 33rd Senate Districts separate Youngstown and Warren, diluting the black vote in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

According to the appeal, the three federal judges that refused to issue a preliminary injunction against the latest district map for the Ohio General Assembly failed to focus on the number of black votes needed to nominate a candidate.

“Voting is clearly racially polarized,” says attorney Percy Squire in the appeal. “This conclusion is bolstered by the fact no Blacks have been elected to countywide office in either county.”

Squire argues that allowing a primary election under a map that has been rejected six times by the State Supreme Court would result in irreparable harm.