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Wash. to appeal felon vote ruling to Supreme Court

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Rob McKenna and Secretary of State Sam Reed say they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appellate court’s decision that would give Washington state felons in prison and on community supervision the right to vote.

McKenna and Reed announced their decision Wednesday. The appeal has to be filed with the court by April, and the state will seek a stay on felony inmates’ ability to vote until the case is resolved.

Tuesday’s 2-1 ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the 2000 ruling of a district judge in Spokane. The appeals court says Washington state’s felon disenfranchisement law violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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