PHOENIX - With only Republicans in favor, the state Senate voted Wednesday to require new proof of qualifications for presidential candidates who want to be on the ballot in Arizona.
The 20-9 vote came over objections from Democrats who questioned the fairness and the legality of the measure. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, predicted HB 2177, if enacted, would be struck down by the courts.
Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, disagreed.
"This is an obligation the state has," he said.
The legislation now goes to the House, which has yet to vote on the concept.
Nothing in the measure specifically mentions incumbent Barack Obama. But there was no interest in the legislation until last year, after some lawmakers said questions remain about whether he was born in the United States, one of the federal constitutional requirements to be president.
As originally proposed, a candidate would have to produce a certified copy of a "long-form birth certificate" which would have to include the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and any attending physician, and the signatures of any witnesses in attendance.
Senators accepted an amendment by Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, for alternative documents. Instead, a candidate could produce such documents as a baptismal or circumcision certificate or a hospital birth record.