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A 2-1 ruling by a panel of federal judges could give some semblance of freedom back to the men and women residing in Washington penitentiaries.

Acting in the interest of fairness, both legal and socially, a three-judge panel comprised of justices hailing from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted in an effort to restore the voting right of over 18,000 felonious inmates.

Citing a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the ruling flies in the face of conventional wisdom and beliefs.

The move would do away with former voting requirements bestowed upon former prisoners, rules that demanded former incarcerated persons be released from person and no longer on parole of probation before being able to once again cast ballots in the state.

Currently, 37.1 percent of inmates in Washington state are minorities, of which, 19.2 percent are Black which effectively makes them the largest minority demographic in the prison system.

Also benefiting from the ruling will be felons in Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, California, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Northern Marianas, and Guam as all areas are apart of the Ninth Circuit Court system.

Nationally, 5.3 million people are ineligible to vote because they were convicted of a felony.