U.S. v. Mason, 81-5023

Citation673 F.2d 737
Decision Date25 March 1982
Docket NumberNo. 81-5023,81-5023
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Booker T. MASON, Appellant.
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)

Ronald P. Fischetti, John C. Lindsay, New York City (Henry Hammer, Anne C. Feigus, New York City, on brief), for appellant.

Craig C. Donsanto, Director, Election Crimes Branch, Public Integrity Section, Crim. Div., Washington, D. C. (Nancy L. Simmons, Public Integrity Section, Crim. Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., on brief), for appellee.

Before HAYNSWORTH, Senior Circuit Judge, and BUTZNER and SPROUSE, Circuit Judges.

SPROUSE, Circuit Judge:

Booker T. Mason appeals his conviction for "vote-buying" in a South Carolina election held to elect both local and federal officials. He was indicted under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1973i(c) and found guilty by a jury. He contends he solicited votes only for the county sheriff's race, not for any federal candidate, and therefore there was no jurisdiction to try him under the federal statute. He also contends there was not sufficient evidence that money given to the voters was in payment for voting. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the district court.

Mason was convicted on seven counts of an eight-count indictment; each count related to procuring the absentee vote of a different individual.

The absentee ballot of voter number one was obtained by Mason's daughter. Mason then went to the voter's house and asked if she had "gotten anything in the mail." The voter said yes and she marked her ballot, voting for Sheriff Roy Lee at Mason's suggestion. She then gave her ballot to Mason in an unsealed envelope and he gave her four dollars, stating "they told me to give it to you."

The second voter was stopped by Mason during a walk and was told to sign an application for an absentee ballot. The application was marked to indicate falsely that she would be on vacation on election day, but the voter did not recall thus marking the application and did not know who had. Mason returned later to her house, opened her mail containing the absentee ballot and gave it to her. After she received the ballot, voted and gave the ballot to Mason, she asked him if she was supposed "to get anything" and he handed her five dollars. Mason asked the third voter to apply for an absentee ballot, although she said she could have gone to the polls on election day. She marked the ballot in Mason's presence and asked him to help her mark the sheriff's race. After she returned the ballot to Mason in an unsealed envelope, he gave her four dollars.

The fourth voter was approached by Mason while working, and was asked to apply for an absentee ballot. The voter gave the ballot to Mason when it arrived, and Mason advised him which candidates to mark. The ballot was then returned to Mason, who subsequently gave the voter two dollars. The fifth voter also was asked by Mason to apply for an absentee ballot. The voter testified that after he received the ballot he did not mark it but that Mason marked it saying "we want Roy Lee in for sheriff." Mason then gave the voter five dollars.

Mason went to the home of the sixth voter and had him sign an absentee application. Mason returned when the ballot arrived. The voter described the procedure by which Mason marked the ballot. "(Mason) called out the names and asked me who I wanted to vote for, and I told him I didn't know anything. I didn't know none of the people. He put down who I wanted, I guess." The voter remembered Mason calling out Roy Lee's name, but did not remember any of the other candidates on the ballot. The voter was given three dollars after Mason marked the ballot and was given two dollars the next day. The seventh voter was also approached by Mason and given an absentee ballot application. After the voter received the ballot, Mason marked it for him and handed him three dollars.

Mason testified that he supported Sheriff Roy Lee in the election and was paid $300 to distribute absentee ballots and to transport voters to the polls. He admitted assisting 48 voters in the involved election and paying all of those named in the indictment. He contended at trial and on appeal, however, that he was performing a service for his friends and neighbors by helping to get out the vote and that there was no agreement to pay the voters for their votes; in each case the voter had cast his or her ballot before receiving any money from Mason. He also argues on appeal that the indictment was jurisdictionally defective for two reasons: one, Congress did not intend to include in section 1973i(c) offenses relating to "mixed" local/federal...

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5 cases
  • United States v. Smilowitz
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • September 8, 2020
    ...e.g. , id . ; United States v. McCranie , 169 F.3d 723, 727 (11th Cir. 1999) (citing Bowman , 636 F.2d at 1012 ); United States v. Mason , 673 F.2d 737, 739 (4th Cir. 1982) ; United States v. Lewin , 467 F.2d 1132, 1136 (7th Cir. 1972).14 467 F.2d 1132.15 Id . at 1134.16 Id . at 1136.17 Id ......
  • U.S. v. Howard, s. 84-2598
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • November 8, 1985
    ...solely to state or local candidates on the ballot. See United States v. Saenz, 747 F.2d 930, 943 (5th Cir.1984); United States v. Mason, 673 F.2d 737, 739 (4th Cir.1982); United States v. Malmay, 671 F.2d at 875. Finally, a federal district court has held that the section prohibits false vo......
  • U.S. v. Slone
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit
    • June 3, 2005
    ...be made specifically on behalf of a federal candidate or that a special intent to influence a federal race exist." United States v. Mason, 673 F.2d 737, 739 (4th Cir.1982); see also United States v. McCranie, 169 F.3d 723, 726-27 (11th Cir.1999) (jurisdiction exists in vote buying case invo......
  • U.S. v. Campbell
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • June 13, 1988
    ...Carmichael, 685 F.2d 903, 908 (4th Cir.1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 1202, 103 S.Ct. 1187, 75 L.Ed.2d 434 (1983); United States v. Mason, 673 F.2d 737, 739-40 (4th Cir.1982). Campbell's actions were equivalent to paying Cross for marking her ballot in accordance with his directions, and the......
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6 books & journal articles
  • Election law violations.
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Vol. 45 No. 2, March 2008
    • March 22, 2008
    ...PROSECUTION MANUAL, supra note 3, at 21; see also United States v. Carmichael, 685 F.2d 903,908 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Mason, 673 F.2d 737, 739 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Malmay, 671 F.2d 869, 874-75 (5th Cir. 1982); United States v. Bowman, 636 F.2d 1003, 1010 (5th Cir. (......
  • Election law violations.
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Vol. 46 No. 2, March 2009
    • March 22, 2009
    ...PROSECUTION MANUAL, supra note 3, at 21; see also United States v. Carmichael, 685 F.2d 903, 908 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Mason, 673 F.2d 737, 739 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Malmay, 671 F.2d 869, 874-75 (5th Cir. 1982); United States v. Bowman, 636 F.2d 1003, 1010 (5th Cir. ......
  • ELECTION LAW VIOLATIONS
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review No. 58-3, July 2021
    • July 1, 2021
    ...PROSECUTION MANUAL, supra note 1, at 21; see also United States v. Carmichael, 685 F.2d 903, 908 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Mason, 673 F.2d 737, 739 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Malmay, 671 F.2d 869, 874– 75 (5th Cir. 1982); United States v. Bowman, 636 F.2d 1003, 1010 (5th Cir.......
  • Election law violations.
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Vol. 47 No. 2, March 2010
    • March 22, 2010
    ...PROSECUTION MANUAL, supra note 3, at 21; see also United States v. Carmichael, 685 F.2d 903, 908 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Mason, 673 F.2d 737, 739 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Malmay, 671 F.2d 869, 874-75 (5th Cir. 1982); United States v. Bowman, 636 F.2d 1003, 1010 (5th Cir. ......
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