Black Mother Gets New Appeal After Being Imprisoned For Voting

Crystal Mason, middle, convicted for illegal voting and sentenced to five years in prison, sitting at the defense table in Ruben Gonzalez's court at Tim Curry Justice Center in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 25, 2018. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Black Mother Gets New Appeal After Being Imprisoned For Voting

Crystal Mason served nearly a year in federal prison and is facing 5 years in a Texas state prison.

Published 2 weeks ago

Mother and  grandmother Crystal Mason has already served nearly a year behind bars for voting while on supervised release. While she is now facing five more years in a Texas state prison, she has thankfully received a new appeal. 

According to NBC News, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said on March 31 that it will consider an appeal from Crystal Mason. She is currently out on an appeal bond.

Attorney Alison Grinter told NBC News, “She’s absolutely buoyed. Her family is just over the moon today that she literally lives to fight another day.”

RELATED: Reclaim Your Vote

In 2016, Crystal Mason of Tarrant County, Texas, was on supervised release for tax fraud after serving nearly three years in federal prison. While she was on her release, her mother insisted she exercise her civic duty of voting in the crucial election, the Star-Telegram reported.

However, Mason was unaware that convicted felons are not allowed to register to vote in Texas, and their voting rights can be restored only after the complete sentence, including a supervised release, has been completed.

When Mason arrived at her polling place, the workers could not find her name on the list of registered voters, so a poll worker handed her a provisional ballot.

However, the provisional ballot was never counted. 

The poll worker later reported problems with Mason’s ballot which prompted an investigation, the district attorney's office spokesperson Samantha Jordan told the Dallas Morning News.

Mason’s sentence seems extreme, especially when compared to a white woman from Iowa named Terri Lynn Rote. Rote was convicted of voter fraud for trying to cast a ballot twice for Donald Trump. She was sentenced to just two years probation and a $750 fine. 

Crystal Mason has always argued no one told her she couldn’t vote, nor did she sign anything saying she could not vote while on supervised release.

Written by BET Staff

(Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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