On November 8, 2016, Crystal Mason got out of work and drove home in the rain in Dallas. She went through the door and tried to settle for the evening. But her mother delivered something that resembled a rant.
"You have to vote!" Mason's mother said after her lawyer J. Warren St. John, who spoke to NPR.
Mason grabbed her keys and headed for her local area. When she got there, she found out that her name was not on the electoral roll, so she was provisionally elected. An election worker held on to guide her through the form. She used her current license and her current address, says St. John.
After she had cast her vote, she went home.
"She believed in good faith that she could choose," says St. John. "She would never have voted if she had not known she could vote."
The next time she thought about that night, she was arrested.
She was arrested by sheriffs at the Dallas County Courthouse in February 2017 when she met with her probation officer.
Mason, 43, is a convicted criminal. She had previously been convicted of tax fraud for clients through her tax preparation business.
And by casting a vote – albeit preliminary – in the parliamentary elections, it had broken a provincial law prohibiting residents from voting until their sentences were fully met. These include probation, probation or supervision.
Mason was released after a three-year prison sentence. For a while, she even worked for the state of Texas, says St. John.
On Wednesday she was sentenced to five years for illegal election. She claims that she has never been informed about the state's voting restrictions on serious criminals.
"She did not understand!" Said St. John. "She was never told she could not vote, not by a district judge, not by anyone in the halfway house she lived in after she got out, not by the probation officer."
But Tarrant County Criminal Investigator Sharen Wilson said in a statement that "Mason" still met this choice despite "multiple security measures".
According to a CNN report, "she signed and confirmed a document in which she made it clear that (1) she was not allowed to vote because of her status as a convicted felon who still served her oversight, and (2) she If she lied about her status, she would have committed a second degree crime, "Wilson said." The judge has found her guilty of illegal voting except for a reasonable doubt. "
President Trump has insisted that millions of people have voted illegally in the presidential election despite scant evidence, and other states have taken action against electoral fraud.
In Nebraska, two men accused may have made several attempts voted for two years in jail and a $ 10,000 fine in the presidential election Mayor in Florida, found guilty of electoral fraud, was given four years probation and 400 hours of community service.
In recent years, Texas has enacted laws that tighten penalties for electoral fraud, extend jail sentences, and increase fines, according to John Powers, who specializes in voting in the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under Law  The incapacitation of felons varies from state to state. NPR reported that a federal judge said Florida's process of restoring the electoral rights of felons who had served their sentence was "nonsense" and violated the First and Fourteen amendments to the Constitution.
Mason is currently being released from jail for appellate appointment, due to an appeal, says St. John.
There's a danger that people like Mason will be on Election Day, says Powers. "If you have a choice and respondents try to break through long voter shifts, they often do not have the training and experience to handle complicated legal scenarios, and the loser in all of that can be the voter." 19659030]