Texas Woman Sent Back to Prison in Illegal Voting Case

Crystal Mason had been convicted of tax fraud in 2011 and was on supervised release in November 2016 when she voted for Hillary Clinton. Texas law requires that felons complete their entire sentence, including supervised release or parole, before they regain the right to vote.

Crystal Mason, a Texas woman who voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election while on supervised release will have to go back to federal prison, the Dallas Morning News reports. A federal judge in Fort Worth ruled Thursday that Mason, 43, must spend ten months behind bars followed by 26 months of supervised release. Mason had been sentenced to five years in state prison for illegal voting. She had been convicted of tax fraud in 2011 and was on supervised release — the federal court system’s version of parole — in November 2016 when she voted for Hillary Clinton. Texas law requires that felons complete their entire sentence, including supervised release or parole, before they regain the right to vote.

When Mason voted in 2016, poll workers did not find her name on a list of registered voters and told her she could fill out a provisional ballot. She signed an affidavit affirming that if she was a convicted felon, that she had “completed all of my punishment including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, period of probation.” Mason said she was never told she wasn’t legally allowed to vote and wouldn’t have cast a ballot had she known. Mason’s lawyers called the punishment “draconian.” “It is tantamount to someone being sent to prison because they didn’t understand the fine print on some of their mortgage documents,” said attorney Alison Grinter.

from https://thecrimereport.org