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Thu Nov 25, 2021, 01:08 PM

Georgia teens become unlikely warriors in redistricting fight

At 13 years old, DJ Horton can’t vote or even drive a car, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a prominent voice in Georgia’s redistricting process.

The middle school student and aspiring politician from Gwinnett County testified at two redistricting hearings hosted by the state Legislature this year. This month, Rep. Derrick Jackson, a Democrat from Tyrone, Georgia, quoted him during floor remarks about the maps; Horton was also invited by his state senator earlier this month to speak at a committee hearing about proposed state Legislature maps.

“On behalf of future young Georgia voters across this state, I am asking you — in fact, I am begging you — to reconsider the redistricting maps that have been drawn,” he said at that hearing. “This is not a right or left issue; this is a right or wrong issue.”

Horton is one of the dozens of teenagers mobilizing and testifying in Georgia’s redistricting process this year, juggling finals and extracurriculars with special legislative sessions and injecting an unusual level of youth engagement into a typically wonky, insiders' political routine.

More of these kids, please!

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