Texas Woman Sentenced Five Years in Prison for Voting on Probation
With the integrity of the 2016 presidential election still being held to question with regard to alleged Russian interference, it seems things have taken a turn for the worst.
Just last week, a Texas woman was accused of voter fraud and was indicted in Harris County; after it was discovered that in fact, she was ineligible to vote because she was on probation. As a result, she has been sentenced to five years in prison for unlawfully voting in the 2016 presidential election.
Pleading her innocence
The lady in question, Crystal Mason (43), has opted to appeal the punishment given to her a fortnight ago in Fort Worth, as per the guidance of her attorney. That being said, Mason is a former tax preparer who had previously been charged in 2012 on accounts that she had inflated refunds for her clientele.
She then testified that she had no idea that people who had felony charges were not allowed to vote until they had served their sentences completely.
In fact, in a press statement to a newspaper last year, she stated that she had only gone to vote after her mother encouraged her, and she was not informed upon her release from federal prison that she could not cast her vote. Mason’s illegal voting situation was further prosecuted in Tarrant County, which happens to be in the same area in which a Mexican national was sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally voting during the election.
The penalty for illegally voting in Texas is in the range of a second-degree felony, and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. It is believed that Mason utilized a provisional ballot to cast her vote, and thus it was not tallied.
Claims of being targeted
In her defense, she believes that she is being specifically targeted for prosecution because she voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, as opposed to the more popular candidate in Tarrant County, Republican Donald Trump.
That being said, Mason’s attorney, J. Warren St. John, did not return a phone message after he was contacted on Saturday last week for comment. Despite Voter fraud charges and convictions becoming exceedingly rare, Republicans in the State of Texas have zealously pursued a massive crackdown on any illegal voting incidences in recent years.
In fact, a federal judge has twice obstructed Texas’ voter ID law, as well as revision last year that was given full support by the Trump administration. That being said, during the 2016 presidential election, Mason was on probation at the time after pleading guilty in regard to the 2011 case of defrauding the government. She then proceeded to serve nearly three years in prison, despite being on a five-year sentence.
From prison and back
Upon her release from prison, she was then placed on a three-year term under supervised release.
Furthermore, she had to make a $4.2 million in restitution, as was requested by the court documents. That being said, Mason testified that she signed a provisional ballot while she voted in November 2016, thereby claiming that she had not convicted a felony. However, prosecutors have retaliated that she signed the form with the intent of wanting to vote illegally, but her attorney has called it an honest mistake.
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