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Texas woman sentenced to five years for trying to vote gets new appeal



TX – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said Wednesday that it will consider an appeal from Crystal Mason, a Texas woman sentenced to five years behind bars for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election.

“She’s absolutely buoyed,” attorney Alison Grinter told NBC News on Wednesday. “Her family is just over the moon today that she literally lives to fight another day.”

She said the appeal is Mason’s last chance at staying out of prison; she is currently out on an appeal bond.

Mason was on supervised release from prison in 2016 when she went to the polls. She wasn’t on the voter rolls, and instead cast a provisional ballot with the help of a poll worker. Local officials determined she was ineligible due to her 2011 tax fraud conviction, and her ballot was not counted. Prosecutors later charged her with knowingly voting illegally.

Texas’ ballot asks voters to certify that they have completed any felony sentences — including supervision — to vote. Mason testified in court that she did not know she was ineligible and did not read the fine print because an election worker was helping her with the provisional ballot.