Grandma Goes to Jail in Illegal Voting Sweep

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We are finally bringing the scourge of illegal noncitizen voting under control:

A 66-year-old woman from North Carolina was sentenced to two months in prison this week for encouraging her boyfriend to vote and helping him fill out his voter registration form, even though he was not eligible.

….On the voter registration card she helped him fill out, they left a question about citizenship unanswered, the release said. Paige told investigators that she then submitted the form to the Board of Elections for processing. But later on in the process, another person erroneously checked the citizenship question “Yes,” so Espinosa-Pena was registered to vote, Higdon’s office says.

So the form was actually filled out correctly, but then someone working for the Board of Elections ticked “Yes” in the citizenship box? But grandma is going to jail for two months anyway?

And in case you’re wondering: Yes, this case was brought by a U.S. Attorney, Robert Higdon Jr., who was appointed by Donald Trump. It never went to trial because Higdon apparently made it plain that if Paige fought the charges she faced a potential sentence of five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. We really have our priorities straight, don’t we?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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