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Texas: Woman Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Voter Fraud Loses Bid for New Trial | The New York Times

A judge who sentenced a Texas woman to five years in prison for voting illegally because she was a felon turned down on Monday the woman’s bid for a new trial. “Prison is a lot closer for her today,” Alison Grinter, a lawyer for the woman, Crystal Mason, 43, said on Tuesday, noting that her client would appeal the decision to a higher court. Sharen Wilson, the Tarrant County district attorney, declined to comment. Ms. Mason was convicted of illegal voting in a one-day trial held March 28 before Judge Ruben Gonzalez, a state district court judge who sentenced her that day to five years in prison. She has been free on bond pending appeal. Read More

Editorials: What’s the longest war in American history? Fighting for the right to vote | Anga L. Sanders/The Hill

“No, Gertrude, you can’t go. I might not make it back, and somebody has to stay here and raise these girls.” With those words, my grandfather, farmer James DeWitt Rhoden, left his wife and two daughters in the late 1930s and set off for downtown Quitman, Texas to vote. He knew that his mission could end his life. As he mounted the tall steps of the Wood County courthouse, a crowd of hostile white men closed in behind him. “DeWitt! Where do you think you’re going?” He never turned around. Perhaps because they knew he wouldn’t go down alone, my grandfather was allowed to cast his vote and return home to his family. Decades later, my mother (his daughter) related this story to me. History may record that the longest war in the history of the United States was neither the Vietnam War nor the war in Afghanistan, but the ongoing war against disenfranchisement, which is the denial of the right to vote. History has also shown us that lynching and other forms of vigilantism were leveled at blacks who attempted to vote. Read More

Texas: Woman Hit With 5 Year Sentence For Inadvertent Illegal Vote Asks For New Trial | TPM

The 43-year-old Texas woman who was sentenced to five years in prison last month for filling out a provisional ballot while she was still on supervised released for a felony tax fraud conviction has requested a new trial. Crystal Mason and her attorney, Alison Grinter, filed a motion for a new trial in Tarrant County, Texas on Wednesday, arguing that not only did Mason not actually vote — her provisional ballot was rejected — in the 2016 presidential election, she may have been eligible to vote in the state of Texas, Grinter told TPM Wednesday. According to the motion shared with TPM, in the state of Texas it is legal for a person to vote if they have a state felony conviction, but only if they are out prison, are off probation and off parole or supervision. When Mason cast her provisional ballot — which she filled out with an election official because her name was not on the voter roll — she was on federal supervised release, which is a period of interaction with federal authorities that is tacked on to the end of every federal prison sentence. Read More

Editorials: Judge deserved more than probation after trying to rig election | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Former Justice of the Peace Russ Casey walked out of a Tarrant County courthouse this week with a gift: He got a five-year, probated sentence after consciously trying to manipulate the electoral process. Casey’s plea deal looks even sweeter when compared to two other election fraud cases recently prosecuted by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office. In those two cases confused — or at the very least misguided — women got prison sentences for voting violations. Forcing Casey to surrender his office — and his $126,000 salary — may be seen as a just penalty. It’s not enough. This Editorial Board thinks prosecutors and the public need to ask themselves if the scales of justice are out of balance. It offends our sense of fair play to see this kind of inequality. In the one case where an election was in real jeopardy, the guilty guy skates. Read More

Texas: White Judge Sentenced to Probation for Election Fraud in Same County Where Black Woman Received 5 Years | The Root

Right now, there is a black woman sitting in prison, reading about a Texas judge who was found guilty of the same crime she committed. She probably noticed that the judge was sentenced to five years’ probation in the same county that sentenced her to five years in jail. More than likely, she also noticed that she is black and the judge who was found guilty of turning in fake signatures to secure a spot in the Republican primary is white. On Monday, Tarrant County, Texas, Justice of the Peace Russ Casey pleaded guilty to tampering with a government record after an investigation found that many signatures on his ballot petition were false, even though Casey signed a form attesting that he’d witnessed the signatures, according to the Star-Telegram. Read More

South Carolina: Registering by party idea spurs questions, fear ahead of primaries | The Post and Courier

Lonnie Smith grew up questioning his world, including why certain people got elected in South Carolina. The 28-year-old Conway man can still remember going to church in 2004 when George W. Bush was running for president. He kept hearing people in the pews describe the Texas Republican as “a good person and a good Christian man.” “Would you go to the plumber with the Christian fish on the back of their truck or would you go with the one who is going to do the best job?” Smith remembers asking a fellow believer one Sunday. Read More

Nevada: Donald Trump wins messy GOP caucuses after contest was plagued by alleged voter fraud, intimidation and men in Ku Klux Klan garb | NY Daily News

Donald Trump won the Nevada GOP caucuses Tuesday in a messy night of voting punctuated by allegations of fraud, intimidation and a slew of other instances of disorganization and chaos. In one of the most extreme cases of such irregularities, several alleged Trump supporters at a caucus site at a Las Vegas high school were photographed sporting white, hooded Ku Klux Klan robes. The men, holding signs saying they were members of the New England Police Benevolent Police Association — a controversial group that endorsed Trump in December — expressed their support for the GOP front-runner. “Make America Great Again,” read one sign, which was equipped with a GoPro camera. Read More