Arizona Secretary of State Threatens to Remove Obama from Ballot
by KEITH KOFFLER on MAY 18, 2012, 8:25 AM
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is threatening to keep President Obama’s name off the state’s ballot in November unless he receives confirmation from Hawaii that it has a valid birth certificate on file for him.
Bennett, who spoke to Arizona radio host Mike Broomhead Thursday, said he requested the confirmation eight weeks ago and has not gotten it. Hawaii, he said, does not have to supply a certified copy of the birth certificate, merely send him an email confirming that it has one.
Asked by Broomhead if he would remove Obama’s name from the ballot if Hawaii fails to comply, Bennett said: “That’s possible. Or the other option would be that I would ask all the candidates, including the president, to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate.”
Despite overwhelming evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii, the issue of his birth continues to dog him. Thursday, Breitbart Big Government reported on a promotional booklet by Obama’s own literary agency listing him as having been born in Kenya.
Bennett said Hawaii law permits government officials to request verification of possession of a birth certificate in lieu of a certified copy.
“They could say yes tomorrow and the whole thing goes away,” Bennett said. “If they can’t say yes to that simple question, then it makes me wonder if we have to take it to another level. One way or another, we have to have some simple verification that people are qualified for the office if they’re going to be on the ballot here in Arizona.”
Bennett asserted that he is not a “birther” and denied accusations that he is playing to the birther crowd in Arizona because he wants to run for governor. But Bennett also hedged in stating his belief that Obama was Hawwaii-born.
“I believe the president was born in Hawaii – or at least I hope he was,” Bennett said.
Arizona, with its 11 electoral votes, is an important 2012 presidential battleground state. A Real Clear Politics average of recent polling in the state has Mitt Romney ahead by only four points.
One thing I’d like to make clear. This blog believes Obama was born in Hawaii. But it also believes threats by the Arizona Secretary of State to exclude the president from the ballot are newsworthy.
If this is the precedent set, and it is legal and allowable, this ramps up the need for this issue to be clarified. As if this is a precedent, then a swath of red states not allowing him on the ballot decides the election.