On January 5, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a Washington law prohibiting felons from voting violates the Voting Rights Act. The Washington law, Article VI Section 3 of the state constitution, states that, "All persons convicted of infamous crime unless restored to their civil rights and all persons while they are judicially declared mentally incompetent are excluded from the elective franchise." The court held that the provision "does not protect minorities from being denied the right to vote upon conviction by a criminal justice system that Plaintiffs have demonstrated is materially tainted by discrimination and bias." The ruling was later overturned by an en banc hearing before the Ninth Circuit.
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