In November 2016, she cast her vote in the 2016 election in Tarrant County, Texas, only to discover she had committed a second-degree felony as Texas prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from voting.
According to a report released in 2016 compiled by the Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform advocacy group, more than 6 million felons in the United States and almost 500,000 in Texas were ineligible to vote in 2016.
Five years earlier, Mason had pleaded guilty to tax fraud and was ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution. "No one actually said, 'Hey, you can't vote this year, '" she said. "I was trying to get more money back for my clients". Mason was on parole after serving time for a federal tax crime, her lawyer said. I took accountability for that. Mason, who didn't even know that she no longer had the option to vote, was treated as a second-class citizen by the law enforcers of America.
There are now 500,000 people in Texas, Mauer said, who can't vote because of felony convictions.
"I don't think I'll ever vote again".
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"I was happy enough to come home and see my daughter graduate", she told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Mason, who served three years in prison for fraud, said she was provided a provisional ballot-after signing an affidavit-at the place she typically goes to vote and that had she known the risks involved, she would have never risked her freedom by casting the ballot. "My son is about to graduate", she told the prosecutor in court. 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.
She went on to admit the mistakes she did make. When she arrived at the polling location her name wasn't on the list, but she was given a provisional ballot.
Per a previous report from 2017, Mason said that she believed she was being targeted because she voted for Hillary Clinton.
Mason has already appealed the conviction, WFAA reported. States differ in how voting rights are restored.
Tarrant County is the same county where a Grand Prairie mother was sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of illegal voting.