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Woman given 5 years for illegal voting is 'pawn' in war on voter rights, legal team says

Kaley Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in News & Features

Provisional ballots are used when a voter's eligibility is questioned -- the ballot is later reviewed for legitimacy and only counted if the voter was eligible. Such was the case for Mason, Buser-Clancy said. He argued Mason had no ill intentions when she cast her provisional ballot, and it does not make sense to punish someone for casting a ballot that was not counted. In 2016, for example, 40,000 people in Texas cast provisional ballots that were rejected.

Faulkner argued Mason cast the ballot while knowing she could not. Mason's provisional ballot included a written section explaining a person cannot vote if he or she is on supervised release, and Mason voted anyway, she said.

The justices will review Mason's appeal and make a determination. There is no set time frame in which they will make a decision.

At the time that she voted, Mason was serving probation after being convicted of tax fraud in 2011. She was released early after three years. Shortly after casting her provisional ballot in 2016, she was arrested.

In August 2018, a judge determined the illegal voting conviction, even while being appealed, violated the terms of Mason's parole. She was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison, and returned back home in June.

 

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