Woman sentenced to five years for voting while on parole

Woman sentenced to five years for voting while on parole

A Texas woman was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday (March 28) for voting in the 2016 presidential election despite being on supervised probation from a previous conviction.

At the time of the 2016 election, Mason was on probation after pleading guilty to defrauding the federal government in 2011.

"I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate", she said.

Mason grabbed her keys and set out for her local precinct. "No one actually said, 'Hey, you can't vote this year, '" Mason told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when she was indicted earlier this month. She claimed an election official helped her fill out the form to get a provisional ballot, so she didn't read it closely. "Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?"

"She signed and affirmed a document which clearly stated that (1) she was prohibited from voting due to her status as a convicted felon still serving her term of supervision, and (2) she would be committing a second degree felony if she lied about her status. My son is about to graduate", she told the prosecutor in court.

Ryan Cooper, national correspondent for The Week, compared the case of Mason, a black woman, with that of a white woman in Iowa who deliberately tried to cast two votes for President Donald Trump. Some states allow people to vote once they are released from prison, while others, like Texas, force them to complete all aspects of their sentences before they can vote again.

"I find it incredible that the government feels she made this up", St. John said in court, according to the Star-Telegram. "Not to vote.I didn't even want to go vote", she said.

"You think I would jeopardize my freedom?" When poll workers could not find her name on the list of registered voters, Mason said, she obtained a provisional ballot and was coached through the process by a worker.

She had gone to vote at her mother's insistence and brought her driver's license as identification, according to her testimony. States differ in how voting rights are restored.

Mason was unsure about why it didn't count until she visited her probation officer in February, and was arrested for the incident. In 2017, Rosa Maria Ortega, who is a legal immigrant and a mother of four, was sentenced to eight years for illegally voting in the 2012 general election and the 2014 Republican primary.

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