GODFREY, Ill. (AP) — 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 for U.S. citizenship. He moved to the country in 2004 to become the priest at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Alton.

Boase says a state employee asked him if he wanted to register to vote in 2005 when he used his British passport to obtain an Illinois driver's license. Boase says he hadn't known that only citizens can vote.

"I received papers telling me I'd been placed in removal proceedings which means I'm going to deported," said Boase.

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 hasn't replied to a request for comment.

Thursday, Boase was at a local radio station telling his story, many supporters stood outside holding American flags.

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