This story is unbelievable.
On Wednesday, a Texas woman was sentenced to five years in prison for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election.
On Thursday, the Dallas News reported,
“Crystal Mason, 43, was on supervised release for a 2011 conviction for tax fraud when she voted. In Texas, convicted felons can’t vote until they complete their full sentence, including supervised release.”
Mason served just shy of three years in prison for her 2011 conviction. She was out on supervised release when she illegally voted.
But Mason said that she was never told that she couldn’t vote. She had no idea it would be illegal for her to do so.
The Texas woman went to her polling place on election day and was told that her name was not on the voter roll. So an election judge allowed her to cast a provisional ballot. In order to use the provisional ballot she had to sign an affidavit which said that the voter could not be a felon. The affidavit also said that the voter must have served their entire sentence in order to legally cast the ballot.
But Mason said she didn’t carefully read the affidavit because an election official was helping her.
Mason waived her right to a jury trial and decided instead to leave her sentencing up to state District Judge Ruben Gonzalez. Gonzalez sentenced her to five years in prison.
“J. Warren St. John, her defense attorney, said after the verdict that an appeal had already been filed and that he is hopeful his client will soon be released on bond.
“I find it amazing that the government feels she made this up,” St. John told the court. “She was never told that she couldn’t vote, and she voted in good faith. Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?””
In cases like this one prosecutors are required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the voter knowingly cast an illegal ballot. But Mason insists that she did not know that she couldn’t vote. Mason says that she never would’ve risked going back to jail just to vote.
“I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate,” she told the Star-Telegram. “My son is about to graduate. Why would I jeopardize that?”
Unless there’s more to this story than what’s being reported, five years in prison seems seriously excessive for what this woman did. Especially when the President of the United States and his corrupt administration break laws and ethics rules on a daily basis with no repercussions. This woman should not be going back to prison.