A Texas woman was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison for illegal voting, The Dallas Morning News reported. A Tarrant County jury found Rosa Maria Ortega guilty of voting in the November 2012 general election and the May 2014 Republican primary runoff in Dallas County “when she knew she was not a United States citizen.” Ortega, 37, was arrested in 2015. She is a legal U.S. resident, but is not a citizen and therefore, not qualified to vote.
She testified that at the time she voted she did not understand the differences between the rights granted to a citizen and a legal resident.
"If I knew, everything would have been done the correct way," Ortega testified. "All my life I was taught I was a U.S. citizen."
Attorneys for the state showed the jury that she checked a box on her driver's license form indicating she was not a citizen, despite her testimony to the contrary.
Ortega was sentenced to eight years and a $5,000 fine on each count.