On the same day the White House released copies of President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill that would require the Democrat to prove his U.S. citizenship to Oklahoma election officials if he wants to be on next year’s presidential primary ballot.
With no debate, the Republican-controlled House passed Senate Bill 91 by a vote of 77-13.
Just Democrats voted against the measure; 14 Democrats voted for it.
The bill now goes to the Republican-controlled Senate.
Rep. Sue Tibbs, R-Tulsa, the House author of the bill, said the measure had nothing to do with the president.
“The U.S. Constitution says you must be a U.S. citizen to run for president,” Tibbs said.
If SB 91 would become law, a presidential candidate would have to present his or her birth certificate to be on the state’s primary ballot, Tibbs said. By law, the presidential primary nominee has to be placed on the ballot.
The provision in SB 91 is an amendment by Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City.
The bill still has its original language that would require each candidate filing with the state Election Board to provide proof of identity and eligibility to hold the office; they would not have to present a birth certificate.
The amendment calls for presidential candidates to present certified copies of a birth certificate, a U.S. certificate of birth abroad or a report of birth abroad of a U.S. citizen to suffice for proof of citizenship.
A similar measure failed to advance two years ago in the Legislature.
A White House official said it released the copies of the president’s original birth certificate to try to put to rest conspiracy theories surrounding the circumstances of his birth and eligibility for office.
Doubts about the citizenship of the president, who announced earlier this month he is seeking re-election, still linger from so-called “birthers,” a small but vocal group that has been questioning whether the president actually was born on U.S. soil. Shortey said earlier his bill was not a birther bill.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, last week vetoed a bill that would have required presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship in order to get on the state’s ballot.