A message was just sent in Texas for those contemplating voting illegally in the future. A woman was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison for her illegal vote in the 2016 elections.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Crystal Mason, 43, was convicted of casting a provisional ballot in 2016 while she was on supervised release for a 2011 tax fraud conviction. Convicted felons are not allowed to vote in Texas until they finish out their complete sentence.
Mason’s ballot was flagged by a polling station worker. Her name did not appear on a list of registered voters, but an election judge gave permission for her to cast a provisional ballot instead. For this to take place, Mason has required to sign an affidavit which specified that the voter must not be a felon or must have finished their full sentence.
The prosecutor in this case was required to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person knowingly broke the law by casting the ballot. Matt Smid, the Tarrant County prosecutor, said the affidavit was “a stop sign in front of her face.”
The sentence imposed on Mason could have ranged from 2 years to 20 years.
Mason said she did not intentionally break the law and that, she “didn’t even want to go vote,” according to the Star-Telegram. She said she would not have risked a return to prison by voting.
“I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate,” she told the Star-Telegram. “My son is about to graduate. Why would I jeopardize that?”
The judge apparently did not see it that way.
Credit: The Hill