Texas mother Crystal Mason appeals five-year sentence for illegal voting

By CNN

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas mother sentenced to five years in prison for voting illegally in the 2016 election appealed her conviction Tuesday.

KTVT reported Crystal Mason, an African American mother of three, said she did not know her status as a felon on release made her ineligible to cast a ballot.

Mason was on supervised release after serving time in prison for tax fraud when she filled out a provisional ballot. 

Tuesday's half-hour hearing before a three-judge panel in Fort Worth focused largely on whether the provisional ballot that Mason cast actually constitutes a vote. 

Mason's attorney, Thomas Buser-Clancy, said, "Ms. Mason submitted a provisional ballot and that ballot was rejected. Ms. Mason did not know the state considered her ineligible to vote. Ms. Mason was in fact not ineligible to vote. And these are all reasons that we've set forth that Ms. Mason's conviction was wrong under the crime of illegal voting and why the conviction should be overturned." 

"There is no way I would do anything to jeopardize leaving my kids again," Mason said. "There is no way that I would have went to vote if I knew I couldn't vote." 

There's no word on a date for the decision. 

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