In what some say is a pivotal case surrounding the red-hot topic of voter fraud, a Texas green-card holder was found guilty of illegally voting and sentenced to eight years in prison. Some are calling the sentence ‘outrageous’ while others are praising the judge’s decision.
Rosa Maria Ortega, 39, of Grand Prairie, Texas, was recently ordered to prison when she lost her appeal on a 2017 illegal voting conviction.
Ortega, who is not a U.S. citizen was convicted on two charges of illegal voting and sentenced in 2017. According to the Star-Telegram, “She was released on an appeal bond the next month.”
Illegal voting is a second-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. And, in Ortega’s case, she will likely be deported once she serves her sentence or is paroled.
In her defense, Ortega claims that she thought that because she is a green card holder she was eligible to vote and simply exercising her rights.
“I thought I was doing something right for my country,” she told the Star-Telegram from jail in 2017.(Link: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article132520219.html) “When they gave me the sentence, they just broke my heart, and they didn’t just break my heart, but I already knew my family was going to be broken, my kids especially.”
Opinions are widely varied on this hot issue, but the fact remains that the right to vote is a sacred right in the U.S. and some in the justice system take violations very seriously.
“Prosecutors showed the jury proof that Ortega illegally registered to vote in 2002 and voted in four elections in Dallas County,” a statement from Paxton’s office stated.
“The prosecutors established that when Ortega moved from Dallas County to Tarrant County in 2014 and correctly indicated she was not a U.S. citizen on her voting registration form, the county informed her in writing that she was ineligible to vote.
“Nevertheless, Ortega applied to vote again, this time falsely insisting she was a U.S. citizen. She illegally voted five times between 2004 and 2014.”
In case you think this is an isolated case, think again.
According to the Star-telegram, “There have been several cases of voter fraud recently filed by the attorney general’s office in Tarrant County. Among them, an alleged ‘voter fraud ring’ in Fort Worth that led to the indictment of four women.”