Lawyer: Pro-Trump mindset behind 8-year voter fraud sentence

Trump won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes.

Cries of "voter fraud" have found their champion in President Donald Trump, who is openly spreading the lie that 3 to 5 million undocumented immigrants cast illegal votes in the November 8 election.

Ortega's lawyer said that she will likely be deported after she completes her prison sentence. "So it's not fair", Rosa's uncle, Felipe Ortega said. "She got deported", she said.

Clark Birdsall, Ortega's attorney, said that she didn't vote in the 2016 presidential election. "If she had taken no for an answer, all of this would have been swept away".

Ortega, 37, is a Mexican national who has lived around Dallas since she was 15, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

As reported by the New York Times, Ortega's lawyer backed her claim and pointed to what he views as inconsistencies in the law. She then tried to register to vote in another county, but election officials there rejected her application after she admitted she was a non-citizen. He said she voted Republican, including for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office helped prosecute her.

After all, as Gov. Greg Abbott himself pointed out in 2013 - and as Politifact recently noted - between 2002 and 2012, when he was in the attorney general gig, there were only 18 voter fraud convictions even though Texans cast millions of ballots during that period.

Her attorney said that Ortega, a single mother of four teenagers who was brought to the US from Mexico as an infant, will likely be deported after serving her sentence, as she will be a convicted felon. "She was trying to make more serious decisions about our country than the 50% of people who didn't bother to vote in the last election". "The fact that she got eight years is off the rails".

Birdsall claimed he and Paxton had an agreement where he'd dismiss the felonies in exchange for Ortega accompanying him to the state legislature and speaking in favor of changing voting procedures, but the resolution was killed.

But research has shown that in-person fraud at the polls is extremely rare, and critics of these restrictions warn that they will hurt mostly poor people, minorities and students - all of whom tend to vote Democratic - as well as the elderly. Birdsall, a former public integrity prosecutor in Dallas County, said he never filed a voter fraud charge in five years. Birdsall recalled one case where a Houston-area group was sentenced to three years in prison after they listed a hotel as their residence in order to change the outcome of a local election.

"It was the 800lb gorilla sitting in the jury box", Birdsall said. He said Ortega, who only obtained a sixth-grade education, did not intend to commit a crime. "The timing of this was the ideal storm".


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