A woman was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election.
Crystal Mason of Tarrant County, Texas, was on supervised release for tax fraud when her mother insisted she cast her vote,the Star-Telegram reported.
Convicted felons are not allowed to register to vote in Texas, and voting rights can be restored only after the sentence, including a supervised release, has been completed.
The 43-year-old had no idea she was barred from voting, and when her name could not be found on the list of registered voters, a poll worker handed her a provisional ballot.
In the process, Mason signed an affidavit listing the conditions required to vote.
A poll worker later reproted problems with her ballot, sparking an investigation, the district attorney’s office spokesperson Samantha Jordan told the Dallas Morning News.
Mason, who spent nearly three years in federal prison for inflating returns as part of a tax preparation business she ran with her ex-husband, ‘owned up” to her previous wrongdoing and said she would never intentionally try to skirt voting laws.
“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,” she said.
Mason has waived her right to a jury trial while defense attorney J. Warren St. John has filed an appeal.
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