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New Hope for Crystal Mason After Her Conviction for “Illegal Voting”

No matter our background, we should all be free to vote without fear that simple mistakes could lead to criminal liability. Unfortunately, that is not how our client, Crystal Mason, is being treated.

In 2016, Ms. Mason cast a provisional ballot, which was thrown out and never counted. Then she was convicted to 5 years in prison for “illegal voting.” Today, the court sent her case back to a lower court for review. Read the decision here.

Ms. Mason, wearing a white dress, surrounded by her legal team.

This decision gives us hope not just for Ms. Mason, but for the broader fight for the right to vote in Texas. Crystal Mason was unfairly targeted because some people in this state want people like her, a Black woman, to be afraid to exercise their right to vote.

In the years since Mason was first charged, certain Texas officials have doubled down on their strategy to create barriers to the ballot box by criminalizing aspects of the voting process and going after people like Ms. Mason who make innocent mistakes.

We remain hopeful that justice will prevail, and we are proud to continue fighting alongside Ms. Mason, and all of you, not just to secure Mason’s freedom in this case, but to protect every Texan’s free and fair access to the ballot, no exceptions.

Hani Mirza Director, Voting Rights Program

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