She had only recently been released from federal prison for a 2012 tax fraud conviction, in which she pleaded guilty to inflating returns for her clients but she was not knowing that being a felon on supervision meant she couldn’t vote under Texas law. Mason was indicted on a charge of illegal voting in Tarrant County, Tex., last year and found guilty by State District Judge Ruben Gonzalez on Thursday. „Why would I want to jeopardize all the work I did to get out of prison, go to the halfway house and get back to my family, if I knew voting was going to get me into prison?” she said in her defense.
The 2016 presidential election
In-person voter fraud is considered extremely rare. In a 2016 ruling rejecting Texas’s stringent voter ID law, which state lawmakers had pitched as a way to stop voter fraud, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit found only two convictions for in-person voter fraud out of 20 million ballots cast in the years before the 2011 passage of the law. In February 2017, another woman in Tarrant County, mother of four, a Mexican national with a green card, was sentenced to eight years in prison after falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen on her ballot. She had voted as a Republican in elections in 2012 and 2014.