Spin Control

State to fight felon vote ruling

State Attorney General Rob McKenna says he'll take Tuesday's ruling that felons in prison have a right to vote up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

McKenna, Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed all said Wednesday they opposed the decision, handed down Tuesday in a 2-1 ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gregoire told reporters she'd back whichever route McKenna wants to take, whether it was a review by the 9th Circuit "en banc" or up to the Supremes.

"I think that case is not done," Gregoire said during a presentation to reporters gathered for a legislative preview. "When you violate laws in the state, you lose your civil rights.

The state changed its laws last year to make it easier for felons to have their voting rights restored after they've served their time in prison and on parole. But the ruling by the appeals court would allow inmates in prison to cast ballots.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.




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