Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Ninth Circuit to Inmate Voters: Not So Fast

with 2 comments

A few weeks ago, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled that Washington State’s felon disenfranchisement law violates the Voting Rights Act (full opinion can be downloaded here), because it has the effect of disproportionately disenfranchising minority voters. (Three other federal circuits have upheld similar laws in other states.) Today, the panel granted Washington’s request to temporarily suspend its ruling, so as to give the state time to appeal to the Supreme Court (stay order can be downloaded here). Basically, the panel agreed not to issue right away a mandate that would have required state and county election officials to immediately begin allowing inmates and felons on community supervision to register and to cast ballots. That means inmates won’t be able to vote in the county special elections currently ongoing throughout Washington State.

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Written by sara

January 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

2 Responses

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  1. [...] New York Times covers the Brennan Center report here; earlier, I blogged here about ongoing litigation over felon disenfranchisement in Washington State. For comparative [...]

  2. [...] the First Circuit rejected both of those arguments, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that an antidiscrimination challenge to felon disenfranchisement may proceed. That ruling is now [...]


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