Quantcast
Connect with us

Judge hands ‘horrifying’ 5-year prison sentence to black woman for the crime of voting

Published

on

- Commentary

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.

Crystal Mason, a 43-year-old mother of two, finished serving a three-year sentence in 2016 for tax fraud, shortly before the presidential election. She was living under community supervision on Election Day, and authorities including her probation officer hadn’t told her that she was not legally allowed to vote.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They tell you certain things like you can’t be around a felon, you can’t have a gun. No one actually said, ‘Hey, you can’t vote this year,'” Mason told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when she was indicted earlier this month.

A judge in Tarrant County, Texas, would not be swayed by Mason’s explanation that when she arrived at her polling place, an election worker was helping her with a provisional ballot so she didn’t carefully read the fine print at the top. The print stated that former felons must complete their probation before they can vote in Texas.

“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,” Mason told the Star-Telegram. “Who would—as a mother, as a provider—leave their kids over voting?”.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Mason is the second person in just over a year who has been sentenced to several years in prison over inadvertent illegal voting. Rosa Maria Ortega was given an eight-year sentence last year after she voted in 2012 and 2014, also in Tarrant County. She told a judge that she hadn’t realized she couldn’t vote as a legal permanent resident.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ryan Cooper, national correspondent for The Week, compared the case of Mason, a black woman, with that of a white woman in Iowa who deliberately tried to cast two votes for President Donald Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump and other Republicans have aggressively pushed a false narrative about rampant in-person voter fraud, despite the fact that such cases are extremely rare. Cases of votes cast by people who are not U.S. citizens made up less than .0002 percent of votes analyzed by the Brennan Center for Justice in a 2007 nationwide study.

Mason’s attorney is planning to appeal the judge’s sentence.

ADVERTISEMENT

This article was originally published at Common Dreams 


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Tucker Carlson sends a dangerous signal to Trump as the right-wing normalizes abject criminality

Published

on

Wednesday night's Democratic primary debate was perhaps the most anticipated of the 2020 election cycle so far, and it did not disappoint, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts demonstrating her ninja skills at eviscerating arrogant billionaires, in the form of former New York City mayor and attempted nomination-purchaser Mike Bloomberg. It was wholesome fun. It made people feel good. It dominated the cable news cycle and the headlines.

Continue Reading

Alternet 2020

Maybe Michael Bloomberg wasn’t as awful as he looked

Published

on

Call me crazy, but the media could have it wrong about Michael Bloomberg. The latest Democratic debate post-mortem came fast and furious – and from a prominent Op-Ed in The New York Times to the cover of The New York Post –and the verdict was almost unanimous.

Bloomberg was “disastrous.” His campaign had “imploded.” He “bombed.” Get the hook for “timid,” “defensive” Mini Mike, the pundits said. “Bye, Felicia” might be the only headline missing from the gleeful media pile-on of Bloomberg after he made his presidential debate debut.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

The ‘pro-life swing voter’ some moderate Democrats chase is a myth

Published

on

A thing that I do not understand is why journalists assume that Democratic presidential candidates absolutely must respond to pro-life activists, or deal with The Abortion Problem. I sometimes think it's because they teach you in journalism school that every four years Swing Voters sprout from the earth like cicadas demanding propitiation. And if the Swing Voters are not sufficiently placated, all manner of hell will break loose, like Swing Voters clinging to God & guns or refusing to speak to responsible centrist journalists in Midwestern diners so the poor scribblers can't expense their rice pudding. Things happen!

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image