A Tarrant County woman convicted of illegal voting will soon present oral arguments in an effort to appeal the conviction.
Crystal Mason and her appellate legal team told FOX4 she should never have been found guilty of casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 presidential election.
At the time, Mason was on supervised release after serving a federal sentence for tax fraud. Her attorneys say state law does not prohibit a person on federal supervised release from voting.
“Folks with a felony conviction in Texas have the right to vote as long as they have completed their sentence and are not on probation or parole,” said attorney Alison Grinter. “It's not a debate. Our criminal law cannot be a debate. We have the right to know what is and is not legal.”
Mason said federal authorities gave her a voter registration card as part of their pre-release instructions.
Mason served an additional seven months of federal time because the state conviction triggered a violation of her supervised release. She is now out on bond while her state conviction is being appealed.
“It's really affected my life, it’s still affecting my life,” Mason said. “I should be complete with supervised release and here I am sentenced to another 26 months. I'm just really grateful for all the support and prayers from everybody and I'm just really trying to get myself back in order right now.”
Grinter and attorney Kim Cole accuse the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office of making a political pawn of Mason.
DA Sharen Wilson disagreed with their characterization.
“The only ones who have ever tried to politicize this case are Mason and her representatives. No one has anything to fear from our office unless the person chooses to break the law,” Wilson said in a statement.
The Second Court of Appeals is expected to soon set a date for oral arguments in Mason’s appeal.