A Texas Woman was sentenced to five years behind bars for voting illegally in the 2016 election while on supervised release from federal prison.
What We Know:
- On Wednesday, Crystal Manson was sentenced to five years for voting illegally. Manson, 43, testified in court that she did not know that she was ineligible to vote due to her 2011 fraud conviction before casting a provisional ballot in the presidential election.
- In Texas voting illegally is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. On the Texas ballot, they ask voters to certify that they have completed the sentences-including supervision-if they have previously been convicted for a felony.
- Manson testified in court that she did not read the fine print because an election worker was helping her with the ballot. However, when Manson arrived at the voters building she found out her name was not on the voters roll so she was given a provisional ballot.
- Manson attorney, J. Warren St. John said, “She didn’t understand!” “She was never told she couldn’t vote. Not by a district judge. Not by anyone at the half-way house where she lived after she got out. Not by the probation officer.”
- According to a CNN report, Manson signed and affirmed a document which clearly stated that she was prohibited from voting due to her status as convicted felon still serving her term of supervision, and she would be committing a second-degree felony if she lied about her status. Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson said, “The judge found her guilty of illegal voting beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Manson contends that she was never informed of the states voting restrictions on felons. “She had a good faith belief that she could vote, she would have never voted if she didn’t know she could vote,” John said. Manson is currently out of jail on an appellate bond that is pending the outcome of an appeal.