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Texas Woman Receives Five Years in Prison for Illegal Voting After Criminal Conviction

by Derek Gilna

Crystal Mason, who had previously been convicted of tax fraud in 2011, will now serve a five-year sentence after being convicted in March 2018 of illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election. The 43-year-old Tarrant County, Texas, woman was on supervised release for that tax charge when she voted in violation of Texas law.

Mason, who claimed to be unaware that her supervisory status prevented her from voting, arrived at her polling place expecting to find her name on the voter rolls and was given a provisional ballot after she executed an affidavit for election officials that misrepresented her eligibility to cast a ballot.

Mason had served a three-year sentence in federal prison as a result of fraudulent preparation of tax returns, had accepted responsibility for that offense, and maintained that she would never intentionally violate election law. “I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate,” she said. “My son is about to graduate. Why would I jeopardize that? Not to vote ... I didn’t even want to go vote.”

She was arrested at her probation office in February after an election worker noted her status. Although she pleaded guilty to the charge, she maintained that she didn’t read the documents that she signed at the voting booth, and that her offense was unintentional.

“You think I would jeopardize my freedom?” Mason said. “You honestly think I would ever want to leave my babies again? That was the hardest thing in my life to deal with. Who would — as a mother, as a provider — leave their kids over voting?” 

Sources: star-telegram.com, nydailynews, thecut.com

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