Woman jailed for voter fraud says she was used as an example

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) A Mexican national sentenced to eight years in prison for voter fraud in Texas said she was wrongly used by authorities as an example of fraud.

Rosa Maria Ortega, 37, who was brought to Texas as an infant, said she held a green card and always believed she was allowed to vote.

She told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram she didn’t understand the difference between a permanent resident and a citizen.

She likely will be deported once she’s released from prison.

The Tarrant County district attorney’s office said Ortega was offered a plea deal for probation. But her lawyer said the deal was rejected because it likely would have resulted in her deportation.

Ortega was convicted in Fort Worth on two felony counts of illegal voting. She was sentenced on Thursday, Feb. 9, to the jail time plus $5,000 fines for each count.

The mother of four said she registered to vote in Dallas County by presenting a valid driver license and Social Security card. She told the newspaper she cast ballots in 2012 for Mitt Romney for president and in 2014 for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

She was arrested after moving to Tarrant County and in changing her voter registration checked a box on the application indicating she was a non-citizen.

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