Court Throws Out Texas Woman’s Voting Conviction

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( – On Thursday, a state appeals court overturned the sentencing of a Texas woman from 2018, when she had been sentenced to spend five years in prison for illegal voting. 

Crystal Mason has been in a legal battle for years which is how she managed to be acquitted from Texas’s 2nd Court of Appeals. Mason had previously made national headlines after she had been charged for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election. At the time she was on supervised release for federal tax evasion. 

The 2nd Court of Appeals sided with Mason and her legal team who have for years argued that the woman had not intentionally voted illegally but rather that she was unaware of Texas’ voting law at the time. Mason was charged but not convicted under a statute that outlines that a person who has committed an offense intentionally casts a vote knowing that they are not eligible to vote. 

In the decision, the court has argued that there is insufficient evidence “to prove beyond reasonable doubt” that Mason had intentionally voted to know the law which states that when one is on supervised release after serving an incarceration sentence they are not eligible to cast a provisional ballot. 

This is the second time that the 2nd Court of Appeals has reviewed the case after previously upholding the conviction in March 2020. Following that decision Mason had filed a petition with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in order to get the lower appeals court to review the case once more. 

Following the first review, the lower appeals court had claimed that a poll worker had provided testimony that Mason had read the affidavit which informed her that she was not eligible to vote and had still cast her provisional ballot.

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