“Crystal Mason: Texas woman sentenced to five years over voting error acquitted”

Great news from Sam Levine, who has been all over this story for years:

A Texas appeals court has thrown out a five-year prison sentence for Crystal Mason, a Texas woman who was sentenced for trying to cast a provisional ballot in the 2016 presidential election that was rejected.

Mason, now 49, attempted to vote in Fort Worth in the 2016 even though she was ineligible because she was still on supervised release – which is like probation – for a tax felony. She has always maintained she had no idea she was ineligible and only tried to cast a ballot because her mother urged her to.

A judge convicted her in a 2018 trial that lasted just a few hours.

Mason’s case became well known nationally and struck a chord as an example of an egregious punishment for a voting mistake.

In 2022, Texas’s highest criminal court told a lower appellate court it had to reconsider a ruling upholding Mason’s conviction. On Thursday, that court said there was not sufficient evidence Mason knew she was ineligible to vote.

“We conclude that the quantum of the evidence presented in this case is insufficient to support the conclusion that Mason actually realized that she voted knowing that she was ineligible to do so and, therefore, insufficient to support her conviction for illegal voting,” Justice Wade Birdwell wrote for the court in its Thursday ruling….

Read the ruling.

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