If Hawaii doesn't confirm President Obama's birth certificate, Arizona's Secretary of State could boot him from the ballot.
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Arizona's Secretary of State sparked a political firestorm across the country on Friday when it became public that he asked Hawaii for confirmation that President Obama was born there.
KGUN 9 caught up with Secretary Bennett at a Historical Society meeting in Sierra Vista. He said that several voters have asked him for original copies of the President's birth certificate which Bennett says would be impossible to get. Then, he said, a voter in Maricopa County suggested that perhaps Bennett could get official confirmation that such a certificate does exist. it. Bennett agreed to ask Hawaii for such confirmation in writing.
"I expected this to put out the firestorm" said Bennett about his request. He said that Hawaii responded by asking Bennett to verify his position with the State of Arizona. Now, he's waiting to see if the state will grant his request.
Because Hawaii has received so many requests about the President's birth certificate, it decided to post the information on its website and will no long make copies of original birth certificates available to the general public.
Is a copy of a birth certificate required in order to get on the ballot in Arizona as President?
"It's not specifically required" answered Bennett. He explained that he may use any means allowable, by law, to verify candidate information.
Has Bennett asked Michigan for proof of Mitt Romney's birth certificate?
"No" he answered. Bennett went on to say "I only did this at the request of a constituent. No one has asked me to ask Michigan for one, but if they asked me and Michigan had a process to do this for any other candidate, I would probably do it like I did it for this constituent."
What if Hawaii blows off Bennett's request? Will the President make Arizona's ballot in November?
"If Hawaii refuses to do what their own state law requires them to do, and it's a very simple request, to say 'yes we have a certificate for Barack Obama in our records', then we'll have to decide where to go from there," said Bennett.
"So it's possible that he may not make the ballot?" asked KGUN 9 Reporter, Tammy Vo.
"I don't think it's really possible but it is possible" said Bennett who says that he's not a birther and believes that the president was born in Hawaii. He also said, despite his possible run for Governor in the next election, this is not a political move.
Late Friday, Mahen Gunaratna, Arizona Communications Director for Obama for America responded by saying, in part, “Secretary of State Bennett’s flirtation with a conspiracy theory that has been debunked time and time again will have no bearing on the election, but it does present an opportunity for Mitt Romney to finally rise to the occasion and denounce the extreme voices in his party. From day one, Mitt Romney has pandered to the far-right of his party, and today Arizona Tea Party Republicans are following suit by questioning where the President was born. The President will be on the ballot this November in Arizona alongside Mitt Romney."
To see President Obama's long-form birth certificate which was posted on The White House website, click here.
To read the validation letter of President Obama's birth certificate from the State of Hawaii, click here.