Hawaii Verifies Obama Birth Records to Arizona
Hawaii verified to Arizona that it has President Barack Obama's birth certificate, a Hawaii state official said late Tuesday night.
The verification ends a two-month tussle between the two states over the president's birth records, and clears the way for Mr. Obama's name to be on Arizona's November ballot.
"The matter has been resolved," said Joshua A. Wisch, special assistant to Hawaii's attorney general in an email statement. Mr. Wisch said Hawaii sent the state an email verification, which will be followed by a hard copy.
Hawaii officials "have complied with the request and I consider the matter closed," Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said in a written statement Wednesday morning.
Mr. Bennett had requested the state verify it has Mr. Obama's birth certificate in its files after he said he received more than 1,200 emails from constituents demanding he check into the record.
In a radio interview last week, Mr. Bennett said it was possible that Mr. Obama wouldn't appear on the ballot unless Hawaii verified it had the president's birth record.
Arizona Democrats said Mr. Bennett's fight with Hawaii over the records was a calculated move to capture right-wing support in the state as he contemplates a run for governor.
Mr. Bennett has denied that, and said he was merely responding to constituent demands. Mr. Bennett repeatedly said he isn't a "birther," referring to a small movement of people who believe that Mr. Obama wasn't born in the U.S and therefore occupying the White House illegally. The U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a natural born citizen.
Mr. Bennett said thousands of Arizona voters began pressing him on the issue after Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in March that Mr. Obama's birth certificate might be a forgery. Mr. Arpaio, who is under fire from the federal government for alleged civil-rights abuses of Latino residents and prisoners in his jail system, launched an investigation into the birth certificate last year.
Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and provides documentation on its website. Mr. Obama posted his long-form birth certificate online last year.
Hawaii refused to comply with Mr. Bennett's request at first, saying he had failed to comply with state law that requires Mr. Bennett to prove he has the legal authority to seek the verification. The state said Mr. Bennett had recently provided information that satisfied Hawaii's requirement.