Texas woman sentenced to 5 years for voting illegally
A Texas woman was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison for voting illegally in the 2016 elections.
The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that Crystal Mason, 43, was convicted of casting a provisional ballot in 2016 while she was on supervised release for a 2011 tax fraud conviction.
Convicted felons are not allowed to vote in Texas until they finish out their full sentence.
A worker at the polling station Mason voted at initially flagged issues with the woman’s ballot, the Morning News reported. Her name was not on a list of registered voters, but an election judge allowed her to cast a provisional ballot instead.
In order to do so, Mason was required to sign an affidavit, which specified that the voter must not be a felon or must have served his or her full sentence in order to cast the ballot.
In such illegal voting cases, prosecutors are required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual knowingly broke the law in casting the ballot. Tarrant County, Texas, prosecutor Matt Smid said that the affidavit was “a stop sign in front of her face.”
Mason’s sentence could have ranged from two years to 20 years, the Morning News reported.
But Mason said she did not intentionally break the law and that, in fact, she “didn’t even want to go vote,” the Star-Telegram reported. She said she would not risk going back to prison by voting.
“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?”