Southwestern Illinois Priest Facing Deportation For Illegally Voting 12 Years Ago

GODFREY, Ill. — A retired Episcopal priest in southwestern Illinois is facing deportation to his native England for what he says was mistakenly voting 12 years ago.

Sixty-nine-year-old Rev. David Boase of Godfrey says his illegal voting was discovered after he applied U.S. citizenship. He moved to the country in 2004 to become the priest at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Alton.

Boase says he used his British passport to obtain an Illinois driver’s license in 2005, when a staffer asked if he wanted to register to vote. Boase says he didn’t know then that only citizens could vote.

His attorney, David Cox, says Boase will ask an immigration judge on Sept. 28 to allow his voluntary departure.

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.