Woman Sentenced To Five Years For Illegally Voting In 2016 Election

Crystal Mason

Crystal Mason

After her prison release, she was put on a three-year term of supervised release. But her mother delivered something akin to a scolding. "I didn't even want to go vote".

According to the prosecutor in the case, Mason was well aware that she was not allowed to vote in 2016.

Mason grabbed her keys and set out for her local precinct. Because her name was not on a registered voter list, the election judge offered her the option of signing an affidavit so she could vote provisionally. An election worker stuck around to walk her through the form. "She was never told by halfway house folks she couldn't vote".

And her attorney, J. Warren St. John, said it's "amazing" the government would suggest she is fabricating a story about voting.

Mason explained to the Star-Telegram she had no intention to risk her freedom in order to vote.

The next time she thought about that night she was being arrested. Ortega's lawyer, Clark Birdsall, said the voter registration form confused his client as it did not have an option for her to indicate she was a permanent resident so when she filled out the form, she checked the only box available which was USA citizen.

Mason, 43, is a convicted felon.

Crystal Mason was convicted in 2011 of felony tax fraud. That includes parole, probation or supervision. She served almost three years in prison on a five-year sentence.

"She did not", he said.

A Texas woman received a five-year prison sentence for voting illegally. Her defense was that no one ever told her she couldn't vote because of her conviction. She told a jury that she was confused about the rights granted to a legal permanent resident and a US citizen.

"She had a good faith belief she could vote legally and she did so", said her attorney Warrent St. John. The judge found her guilty of illegal voting beyond a reasonable doubt. In Texas, it is a second-degree felony to vote in an election in which you know you are not eligible. However, Texas has come under scrutiny for voter suppression against black and Latino voters. In four states, felons are permanently disenfranchised and can only have their voting rights restored at the discretion of the governor. NPR reported that a federal judge said Florida's process of restoring voting rights of felons who completed their sentences was "nonsensical" and in violation of the First and 14 Amendments to the Constitution.

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