Crystal Mason has been sentenced to five years in prison when the Tarrant County resident was convicted of casting a vote in the 2016 presidential election, and her prison sentence is getting plenty of buzz on social media. Mason’s vote in the 2016 election was deemed illegal, according to the New York Post, even though the Texas woman claims that she did not know she was illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election.
The 43-year-old Crystal Mason hails from Tarrant County, Texas, reports the Dallas Morning News. It is the law of Texas to ban people who have been convicted of a felony from voting. Mason had previously been convicted of tax fraud and attempted to vote while still on supervised release, an illegal action until the supervised release has been fully served.
District Judge Ruben Gonzalez made the controversial ruling, which is already being noted by one Daily Show writer who compared Mason’s five-year prison sentence for allegedly voting while not knowing her action was illegal with the less harsh penalties of another woman who reportedly attempted to vote for President Donald Trump twice, knowingly.
Crystal chose to have District Judge Ruben Gonzalez hand down her sentence instead of undergoing a jury trial. Mason testified that she received a polling station provisional ballot in the wake of discovering she wasn’t on the list as a registered voter. The judge asked Mason about an affidavit form she had to sign to receive the ballot, which lists voting requirements.
Mason had previously served nearly three years in prison, but said that she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to cast a vote in the 2016 election. Crystal said that she only voted because her mother implored her to vote. Mason’s lawyer has filed an appeal, hoping to have Crystal released on bond. Her attorney argued that Mason would not have risked going back to prison simply to vote.
Crystal’s problems stemmed from her 2011 conviction for tax fraud.
“I inflated returns. I was trying to get more money back for my clients. I admitted that. I owned up to that. I took accountability for that. I would never do that again. 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.”