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This is going to blow your mind.

43-year-old Crystal Mason was recently released from prison after being convicted in a 2012 tax fraud case. Her attorney, J. Warren St. John, says Mason (a tax preparer at the time) pled guilty to inflating returns for her clients. Now, after serving her time, Mason is headed back to prison—for five years—because she voted in the 2016 election when she was free, but still on community supervision.

Mason’s attorney says no one “including her probation officer” told her it was illegal under Texas law to vote as a felon on supervision.

Still, “Mason was indicted on a charge of illegal voting in Tarrant County, Tex., last year and found guilty by State District Judge Ruben Gonzalez on Thursday, despite her protestations that she simply was not aware that she was barred from casting a ballot and never would have done it had she known,” the Texas Tribune states.

When she was indicted, Mason reportedly said in a comment to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “You think I would jeopardize my freedom? You honestly think I would ever want to leave my babies again? That was the hardest thing in my life to deal with. Who would — as a mother, as a provider — leave their kids over voting?” In fact, Mason says she never planned on voting until her own mother encouraged her to.

This is not the first person given a steep sentence for voter fraud. As the Texas Tribune states, “In February 2017, another woman in Tarrant County, a Mexican national with a green card, was sentenced to eight years in prison after falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen on her ballot. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rosa Maria Ortega, a mother of four, testified that she had confused the difference between rights granted to legal permanent resident and to a U.S. citizen, which a jury did not buy. She had voted as a Republican in elections in 2012 and 2014.”


Wow: Texas Woman Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Voting While On Probation  was originally published on