The handling of two voter fraud cases stemming from the 2020 election is prompting criticism of what many claim is a racially biased election integrity system, the Guardian reports. The two cases occurred in different states. In Pennsylvania, Bruce Bartman registered his late mother and mother-in-law to vote in the 2020 election. He eventually cast a mail-in ballot in his mother's name and was arrested 2020 for perjury and unlawful voting. After a guilty plea, he was sentenced to five years of probation, and was barred from voting or serving on a jury for four years. In Memphis, a Black woman named Pamela Moses was charged with voter fraud. After committing a felony, Moses permanently lost the right to vote, but she was never removed from the voter rolls. In 2019, a probation officer mistakenly signed a certificate saying Moses had completed her sentence and was eligible to vote. When she attempted to register, she was indicted for voter fraud.
Moses was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison. An outcry over her case led the judge last week to order a new trial. Despite the reversal, some claim that harsh charging and sentencing decisions send a bad message to Black voters and that they are acts of conscious voter suppression based on race. Moses' case is not the only similar incident. In Texas, Crystal Mason was sentenced to five years in prison for voting while on federal supervised release despite the fact that her probation officials never told her she could not vote and her ballot was not counted. Her case is being appealed. Other Black people in Texas have made the same mistake and received criminal scrutiny. The prosecutors in the Moses and Mason cases claim that they offered the defendants plea deals with stipulations of no jail time. Advocates say Moses and Mason had real incentives for wanting to get off of probation and move on with their lives. Numerous examples of white people being sentenced to probation terms or very light jail terms were found in a survey of cases arising from the 2020 election, nearly all of them involving conscious fraud on the part of the defendant.