Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Texas woman sentenced 5 years for voting while on probation

Texas woman sentenced to 5 years in prison for voting while on probation Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Carol Daniels | 02 April, 2018, 11:22

Crystal Mason, 43, a Rendon woman in Texas has been sentenced to five years in prison for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election while she was on supervised release from a 2011 fraud conviction. He noted that Mason went to the same polling place where she'd always voted, and used a legitimate driver's license and address. She told the newspaper previous year following her indictment that she had gone to vote at her mother's encouragement and wasn't told when released from federal prison that she could not cast a ballot.

Additionally, having signed an affidavit to receive the provisional ballot, she said that she didn't even read the rules on the document closely because she was being assisted by an elected official and trusted them. "She changed her life". Texas prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from voting, and only allows them to vote once they have entirely finished their sentence, including any probation, parole and supervised release.

"She had a good faith belief she could vote legally and she did so", Mason's attorney Warrent St. John told WFAA.

After she cast her vote, she went home. "My son is about to graduate", she told the prosecutor in court.

"I find it incredible that the government feels she made this up", St. John told the court.

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"You think I would jeopardise my freedom?" As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, she also couldn't be reached by phone.

The distraught mother of two justified that she voted upon her mother's insistence and wasn't aware of the fact she couldn't vote. Tarrant County leans Republican. When poll workers could not find her name on the list of registered voters, Mason said, she obtained a provisional ballot and was coached through the process by a worker. According to Texas law, people convicted of felonies can not vote, the Dallas Morning News reports.

"It's the rare exception when a corrections system informs people about their right to vote", Mauer said.

Mason testified Wednesday that she has remade herself since her release from prison, including getting a degree in a new field and getting a new job.

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 US citizen on her ballot.

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