Arizona Advances ‘Birther Bill’

By Jonathan Blakely

Apr 21, 2010 6:03pm

ABC News’ Jonathan Blakely reports:

Lawmakers in Arizona are moving forward with a proposal that would force candidates to produce birth certificates to appear on the ballot in the 2012 election — a clear effort to challenge the citizenship of President Obama.

On Monday, the Arizona House of Representatives voted 31-22 to advance the bill, which would require an official review by Secretary of State Ken Bennett of candidates’ birth certificates before they can qualify to run for office on the ballot in Arizona.

The legislation is an outgrowth of the “birther movement” – those who question Obama’s origins and believe that he is not a natural-born U.S. citizen. Such conspiracy theories continue to exist, despite substantial verification of the President’s citizenship – including the publication of his birth certificate from then-candidate Obama’s ‘Fight the Smears’ webpage, and Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, Chiyome Fukino, issuing a statement confirming the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.

Democratic state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix said that the bill, along with other controversial pieces of legislation from Arizona, are making the state “the laughingstock of the nation,” the AP reports.

Some supporters of the legislation, such as state Rep. Cecil Ash, favor the bill not because of any doubt of the President’s citizenship, but because the measure would put an end to all the speculation, the AP also reports.

The bill still needs approval by the full state House, plus the state Senate. And Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has said that it may violate the US Constitution, since it involves the state making requirements for a federal election.

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