Presidential candidates won't need to show birth certificate for Arizona ballot - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Presidential candidates won't need to show birth certificate for Arizona ballot

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Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 4:02 pm | Updated: 3:28 pm, Tue Feb 15, 2011.

It doesn't look like Barack Obama will need to get his original birth certificate to state officials to be on the presidential ballot in Arizona next year.

On a 5-3 vote Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee defeated SB 1526 which would let Arizona impose its own requirements on what someone needs to prove before being on the ballot in the state. Three Republicans voted with the two Democrats on the panel to kill the plan offered by Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City.

Virtually identical legislation was introduced in the House in the form of HB 2544. But that measure has never gotten a hearing.

The issue first arose in 2008 amid questions about whether Obama could prove he met the federal constitutional requirements of being a "natural born" citizen, born in the United States. Theories have ranged from claims he really was not born in Hawaii to questions of whether he forfeited his citizenship by moving overseas as a child or never had it because his father was Kenyan.

Each of the measures would preclude a presidential candidate from appearing on the Arizona ballot unless party officials provided certain information to the Secretary of State's Office. That includes an original "long-form birth certificate" complete with the name of the hospital, attending physician and signatures of witnesses, to a sworn statement that the candidate had two parents who were citizens at the time of the child's birth.

"I think it's inappropriate for the state of Arizona to establish its own criteria for a federal office that goes beyond what the (U.S.) Constitution requires," said Sen. John McComish, R-Phoenix. And Sen. Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix, said this could create a situation where each of the 50 states would be screening presidential candidates using different standards.

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