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Ariz. bill would require proof of US birth from candidates

Published: Sat, January 29, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Arizona legislators have reintroduced legislation aimed at making President Barack Obama prove his U.S. nationality by birth.

The measure in the Arizona House would prohibit placing presidential and vice-presidential candidates on the state’s ballot unless they submit specified documentation of their U.S. birth and other constitutional requirements.

Hawaii officials repeatedly have confirmed Obama’s birth in that state, but so-called “birthers” contend Obama actually was born in Kenya, his father’s homeland.

The state House narrowly passed a version of the bill in 2010, but it died in the Senate without a vote in the closing days of the legislative session. Secretary of State Ken Bennett had voiced concerns about the 2010 legislation’s provision that would have prohibited his office from placing a candidate on the ballot if documents submitted on behalf of a candidate left reasonable doubt about the candidate’s eligibility. That would have left the secretary of state with too much discretion, Bennett said through a spokesman at the time.

On Friday, Bennett noted that the reasonable-doubt wording is not included in the 2011 version; instead, it mandates submissions of specific sworn statements and a copy of a birth certificate with specific information.

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