1. Florida Politics

Non-citizen voted in two presidential elections

Published Nov. 10, 2012

FORT LAUDERDALE — When Josef Sever cast votes in two U.S. presidential elections, the Plantation man said he was simply trying to do something positive and perform a duty that not all citizens fulfil. There was just one problem: He is not a citizen.

"This was a misguided attempt to exercise a civic duty that he believed that he owed this country … He only wanted to be part of the country and do something good by voting in important elections," wrote Daniel Ecarius, Sever's assistant federal public defender.

Sever, 53, an Austrian who became a Canadian citizen and lived in the U.S. since 1992, apologized profusely and acknowledged he will likely be deported to Canada.

The judge said a sentence of five months in federal prison followed by Sever's almost certain removal to Canada was sufficient punishment.