A Texas woman will now spend five more years behind bars after officials say she illegally voted while on probation.
A judge found 43-year-old Crystal Mason was found guilty Thursday of illegal voting in Tarrant County, Texas for the 2016 Presidential election, however, Mason maintains she did not know she could not vote.
Mason was sent to jail in 2012 for tax evasion after she was caught inflating her clients tax returns. Mason plead guilty to the charge and after serving her sentence, she was released under supervision.
In Texas, a felon on supervision is not able to vote, however, Mason maintains that no one, not even her probation officer informed her that she was not able to vote.
“You think I would jeopardize my freedom? 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?” Mason told the Telegraph.
Mason also told reporters that initially she was not going to vote but was encouraged to do so by her mother and several others.
Mason told the judge that when she went to the polling place, she noticed her name was not on the voter’s roller, however, an election worker offered to assist her an provided her with a provisional ballot. The judge explained that in fine print, the ballot ask the person casting the ballot if they are a convicted felon and other part where is ask if they are under any sort of supervision. While Mason agreed that she signed the ballot, she told the judge that she did not read through the fine print because she was being helped by an election worker and assumed that it did not apply to her because she already served her time.
Provisional ballots are subject to review so ultimately the mistake was caught and Mason’s vote was never counted.
Texas has been trying to crack down on voter fraud since President Trump made a statement accusing the 2016 election of being rigged. Authorities in Texas say they have found several instances of mail-in voter fraud but only two cases of in person voter fraud.
A Mexican national was sentence in eight years in prison after she reportedly voted in both the 2012 and 2016 elections as an American citizen. The woman told authorities that she was confused because she had been rights granted to legal permanent resident and believed that meant she was a citizen. She voted republican in both elections.
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