Crystal Mason (Tarrant County Jail)
If she had known it was illegal, Crystal Mason said she had never cast a vote in the 2016 presidential election.
The 43-year-old former tax preparer hadn they even wanted to vote until their mother encouraged them. She was recently released from federal jail for a 2012 tax fraud conviction pleading with her clients, her lawyer J. Warren St. John told The Washington Post.
She was still in community supervision at the time of the election – but no one, including her probation officer, said St. John, always told her it was a crime under oversight that she could not legislate in Texas.
Now She Returns
Mason was indicted last year for an illegal election in Tarrant County, Texas, and sentenced on Thursday by Judge Ruben Gonzalez, although she had pleaded guilty She was simply unaware that she was denied voting and would never have done so if she had known.
As she reported to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, she was accused, "You think I would jeopardize my freedom, do you really think I would ever want to leave my children?" That was the hardest part of my life Who would have their children elected as mothers, as providers? "
The case is yet another example of the eager crackdown on Texas electoral fraud – a problem that the heads of state of the GOP have described as" rampant "in the past. but for which they still have hard evidence, except for isolated cases like Mason (Mason).
In a 2016 ruling denying Texas' harsh voter ID law that state legislators had set up as a way to prevent electoral fraud, the US Court of The 5th District appeals found only two convictions for electoral fraud of 20 million Ballots submitted in the years prior to the adoption of the law in 2011.
While personal electoral fraud is considered extremely rare, mail-in voter fraud is less so. In 2016, Dallas County had to stall about 700 suspicious e-mail votes for a city council after receiving complaints from voters who received absentee ballots they did not demand.
Nevertheless, after the 2016 parliamentary elections, President Trump gathered a now-defunct "electoral fraud commission" in the midst of his unsubstantiated claims that millions of people had been illegally elected. Texas' quest for personal electoral fraud reflected the zeal of the Trump administration.
In February 2017, another woman in Tarrant County, a Mexican citizen with a green card, was sentenced to eight years in prison after falsely claiming to be a US citizen on her ballot. According to the Fort Worth Star telegram, Rosa Maria Ortega, a mother of four, testified that she had confused the difference between the rights granted to a legal permanent resident and a US citizen whom a jury had not purchased. She voted Republican in elections in 2012 and 2014.
"This case shows how serious Texas is of securing its elections, and the result sends a message that violations of the state's electoral law will be fully punished." Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said after Ortega was convicted. John said he believed that Mason's five-year imprisonment, for which he said he was a genuine mistake, was a direct result of such rhetoric from Paxton's office.
"She voted in good faith. She showed who she was. Everything was truthful, "said St. John." Just as she said in court, "Why should I want to risk all the work I've done to get out of jail, go to the half-house and to my family? Returning, if I knew the election would put me in jail? "
On the day of the presidential election, 8 November 2016, Mason arrived at her polling station and found that her name was not on the electoral roll, said St. John.
An election worker offered help, he said, handing her a preliminary vote that would allow a person to cast a vote as long as they confirmed their authority by signing a sworn statement. The small print at the top asks the voter to confirm that, if she is a felon, she has completely fulfilled her sentence, including surveillance or parole. Mason tried to explain to the judge that, because an election worker helped her, did not read attentively what, as St. John said, could not influence him.
Ultimately, her voice did not even count. Provisional votes are subject to review, which eventually led to an investigation by Mason.
St. John said he had already made an appeal in the hope of leaving his client out of jail so she could stay with her family. The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that a "chorus of small children" said goodbye when a bailiff returned them to jail and said, "Bye, Big Mama."
"I do not think I will" I'll vote again and again, "she told the news agency after her indictment." That's honest. I will never choose again.
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