FORT WORTH, Texas - A Grand Prairie woman was found guilty of two counts of illegal voting.
Prosecutors said Rosa Maria Ortega illegally registered and voted at least twice as a Republican in Dallas County in the 2012 November general election and the May 2014 primary runoff. She is a citizen of Mexico but claimed to be an American in a sworn statement when she registered.
Ortega showed no emotion when the jury's guilty verdict was read Wednesday afternoon.
In her defense, Ortega said she was brought to the United States and abandoned by her mother. She believed she was a citizen.
“My mom just used us to get stamps. She never gave us love or guidance. She got deported,” she said. "All my life since I worked, I always on my knowledge thought I was a U.S. citizen because I never knew the difference of U.S. citizen and U.S. resident. And the point is if I knew, everything would've been the correct way."
Ortega tried to register to vote twice in Tarrant County, which is where the trial is taking place, but her applications there were denied.
The jury is now deliberating her punishment. Ortega could face up to 20 years in prison.