Washington ban on inmate voting upheld on appeal

The Associated PressOctober 8, 2010 

A federal appeals court has upheld Washington's ban on voting by prison inmates.

The ruling came Thursday in a case that challenged the ban under the Voting Rights Act, claiming that it disproportionately disenfranchised minority voters.

In January, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state inmates should have the right to vote. But an 11-judge panel reconsidered the case at a hearing in San Francisco last month and came to a different conclusion.

The judges said that to challenge the ban, inmates would have to demonstrate intentional discrimination, not just a disparity in the racial makeup of the prison population.

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