Woman gets 5 years for illegally voting in 2016 election

Bryan Strickland
April 2, 2018

A Texas woman was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday, March 28, for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election while she was still on supervised release for a prior fraud conviction.

Crystal Mason, 43, was on supervised release for a 2011 conviction for tax fraud when she voted. It's illegal to vote in Texas if you're convicted of a felony and still serving your sentence, including parole or supervision.

"She was never told that she couldn't vote, and she voted in good faith", said the lawyer of Texas woman who was put back in prison shortly after her release.

Crystal Mason was sentenced to five years in prison for something her attorney says was an honest mistake. "I was trying to get more money back for my clients".

Mason's attorney J. Warren St. John said they had already filed an appeal on the verdict. Although her ballot was later flagged, Mason wasn't told that her vote was illegal until three months later when she was arrested after checking in with her probation officer. I took accountability for that. But, Texas law prohibits felons from voting while on probation.

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She continued, "I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate". My son is about to graduate. "Not to vote.I didn't even want to go vote", she said.

Gonzalez, who questioned Mason during her testimony, asked why she did not thoroughly read the documents she was given at the time.

Tarrant County prosecutor Matt Smid said that in cases such as Mason's, the state must prove that a defendant was aware she or he wasn't allowed to vote and voted anyway. Why would I jeopardize that? She walked into her normal polling place and they were unable to find her name on the list of registered voters, so she filled out a provisional ballot in its place. She only voted that day because her mother wanted her to, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. States differ in how voting rights are restored.

St. John said he plans to file an appeal and that Mason, who was taken into custody on Wednesday, is now out of jail on a $20,000 bond.

In February 2017, Rosa Maria Ortega of Grand Prairie, a Mexican national with a green card, was sentenced to eight years in prison after falsely claiming to be a USA citizen on her ballot.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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