Arizona elections chief says satisfied Obama a citizen

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 06, 2012 12:00 PM
Arizona elections chief says satisfied Obama a citizen

By Tim Gaynor

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona's secretary of state has received information from Hawaii that verifies Barack Obama's birth records, satisfying criteria to put the president on the November ballot in the state, his office said on Wednesday.

Ken Bennett, who is Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign co-chairman in Arizona, made a request to authorities in Hawaii on March 30 on behalf of more than 4,000 constituents, his office said.

Bennett received verification on Tuesday of Obama's birth from officials in Hawaii in lieu of a certified birth certificate, Bennett's spokesman Matthew Roberts said.

"We never requested a birth certificate. What we requested was a verification from Hawaii that the information on the president's birth certificate was accurate," Roberts told Reuters.

"As far as we are concerned, the matter is closed," he added.

Most Republican critics of Obama have given up pushing discredited, long-running allegations that he was not born in the United States.

Bennett said last week that, while he did not buy into the "birther belief," he was attempting to confirm that Obama's name can appear on Arizona's presidential ballot,

The White House has denied repeated claims that Obama was not born in the United States.

In April 2011 Obama released a longer version of his birth certificate to try to put to rest speculation that he was not born in the country, as required by the U.S. Constitution to become president.

Last week Democrats in the state accused Bennett of sacrificing common sense to secure "cheap political points," and said that Arizona deserved better.

In March an Arizona sheriff declared Obama's birth certificate a forgery following an investigation by a "volunteer posse," or group of untrained citizens, acting at the request of conservative Tea Party activists in the Phoenix valley.

Not content with Bennett's probe, the office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said on Wednesday that a lead "Cold Case Posse" investigator and a deputy detective had been dispatched to Hawaii in recent days to carry out their own investigation.

(Reporting By Tim Gaynor; Editing by Greg McCune and Xavier Briand)