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On Mach 28, Crystal Mason of Tarrant County, Texas  was sentenced to five years in prison  for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election. Convicted felons are not allowed to vote in Texas and Mason was on supervised release for tax fraud. However, the 43-year-old claimed she was not aware felons could not vote and when she didn’t see her name  on a list of registered voters, a poll worker handed her a provisional ballot. She also signed an affidavit listing the conditions required to vote.

According to Star-Telegram, District Judge Ruben Gonzalez asked her, “‘There’s a legal connotation to that, right?’ Gonzales asked. Mason responded that she was never told by the federal court, her supervision officer, the election workers or U.S. District Judge John McBryde, the sentencing judge in her fraud case, that she would not be able to vote in elections until she finished serving her sentence, supervised release included. She also said she did not carefully read the form because an election official was helping her.”  She also said, considering she was previously incarcerated, she would not have voted if she knew it was illegal. On her previous charges, she said, “I inflated returns. I was trying to get more money back for my clients. I admitted that. I owned up to that. I took accountability for that. I would never do that again. I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate. My son is about to graduate. Why would I jeopardize that? Not to vote. … I didn’t even want to go vote.” Mason’s grandmother insisted that she voted while unaware she could not vote.

The heartless judge sentenced her to five years in prison.

J. Warren St. John, her defense attorney, said after the verdict, “I find it amazing that the government feels she made this up. She was never told that she couldn’t vote, and she voted in good faith. Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?”  St. John has filed an appeal and he hopes Mason will soon be released on bond.

To sentence someone to five years in jail for illegally voting is absolutely a waste of taxpayers’ money.

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