Highlighting in the most "horrifying" and "insane" manner the way that many states disenfranchise convicted or former felons, a Texas judge is sending a woman to jail for five years for unknowingly casting an illegal vote in the 2016 election when she was on probation.
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. However, Mason had no idea of what she was signing.
"Mason, who spent almost 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. She also said she did not carefully read the form because an election official was helping her. "Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?" In Texas, convicted felons can't vote until they complete their full sentence, including supervised release. Mason claims she did not know the laws barring her from voting in the presidential contest. "She was never told by halfway house folks she couldn't vote". My son is about to graduate.
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To register to vote in Texas, a person must be 18 and a US citizen and can not be a convicted felon or have been declared mentally incapacitated by a court.
"You think I would jeopardise my freedom?"
"I find it unbelievable that the government feels she made this up", St. John told the court.
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The distraught mother of two justified that she voted upon her mother's insistence and wasn't aware of the fact she couldn't vote.
An appeal has been filed for Mason's release. The polling place where she voted did not find her name on the voter roll, so she was granted a provisional ballot.
"It's the rare exception when a corrections system informs people about their right to vote", Mauer said. 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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Mason was unsure about why it didn't count until she visited her probation officer in February, and was arrested for the incident.