Fed judges: Wash. felony inmates should get vote
By RACHEL LA CORTE Associated Press Writer
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Incarcerated felons should be allowed to vote in Washington to ensure that racial minorities are protected under the Voting Rights Act, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The 2-1 ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means the more than 18,000 felons behind bars in the state could get back their right to vote - without having to wait until they are released from prison and are no longer on probation or parole. The ruling also could open the door to similar lawsuits in the 9th Circuit's eight other states and two territories.
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