Politics & Government

Court stays order allowing Washington felons to vote

OLYMPIA - A federal appeals court has temporarily stayed its decision that would allow Washington felons to vote from prison.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state’s request for the stay on Thursday, while Washington officials ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take their appeal.

Earlier this month, the appellate court overturned Washington’s felon disenfranchisement law, saying minorities were disproportionately affected. The ruling opened the door for thousands of inmates, as well as those on probation or parole, to vote.

Last year, lawmakers passed a law that allows convicted felons to reregister to vote once they’re no longer on parole or probation. Previously, felons who were no longer in state custody but owed court-ordered fines and restitution were barred from voting.