A mother of two out of Forth Worth, Texas was sentenced to 5 years in prison for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election while on supervised release serving a fraud conviction.
Buzz Feed News reports 43-year-old Crystal Mason was released from jail after serving three years in prison for fraud conviction in 2011. She gave up her right to a jury and had her sentence assessed in its place which was decided by District Judge Ruben Gonzalez.
Mason informed the court that she voted because her mother encouraged her to and she was not told that she couldn’t vote. Her name did not appear on the voter list so she asked for help from a election worker. The worker directed her through the process of voting provisionally after Manson signed an affidavit.
Judge Gonzalez questioned Mason about why she didn’t read the affidavit which lists all requirements to vote, including her situation of being a convicted felon and not completing a sentence. In her defense Mason explained because an election worker was assisting her she didn’t feel the need to read it.
Mason explained to the judge that that she was given the opportunity to watch her daughter graduate and wanted to see her son graduate too. Had she known about not being able to vote she says she would have never done it.
She was originally sentenced in 2011 for committing through a, “tax preparation business” she ran with her ex-husband. They gave increased tax refunds over to the Internal Revenue Service which caused the court to order her to pay back $4.2 million in restitution.
Even though Mason was sentenced to 5 years, the Judge could have sentenced her up 20 years for voting illegally. Mason’s defense attorney, J Warren St. John immediately filed an appeal.
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(Source: Buzz Feed News )
(Photo Credit: ThinkStock Images)