Hawaii verifies Obama birth for Arizona ballot

Says Bennett has given legal justification for requesting the proof
2012-05-23T00:00:00Z 2013-09-16T13:56:09Z Hawaii verifies Obama birth for Arizona ballotHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX - It looks like President Obama will be on the Arizona ballot in November.

Hawaii is now willing to furnish Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett with certification that the Aloha State does, in fact, have a birth certificate for the president, a spokesman for the Hawaii Attorney General's Office, Joshua Wisch, said late Tuesday.

Bennett's request, made several weeks ago, was held up amid concerns by Hawaii health officials that Bennett did not have legal justification for seeking the information. Wisch said his office, which advises the health department, demanded proof from Bennett that he needed it.

"We have received information from Secretary Bennett that satisfied our requirements and have therefore provided his office with a verification of birth for President Obama," Wisch said.

Wisch did not say what proof Bennett finally provided that satisfied the Hawaii office.

To appear on the ballot, the president, like all other candidates, still has to submit the required paperwork following his party's convention, Bennett said.

The secretary of state does not normally verify citizenship of candidates, leaving it up to others to challenge someone's ballot status in court.

But Bennett was unapologetic for seeking the verification. He said he had received more than 1,000 requests from constituents requesting that he verify the president is a "natural born citizen" and therefore eligible to hold the office.

"If I embarrassed the state, I apologize," Bennett said earlier Tuesday in an interview with Phoenix radio station KTAR. But he said he did nothing wrong.

He also confirmed he has since received a request to perform a similar verification of the status of presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney and said he would do that if Michigan has a law similar to that of Hawaii, allowing it to certify that a specific document exists.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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