Oklahoma House advances bill calling for presidential candidates to produce birth certificates

The measure would require presidential candidates to present certified copies of a birth certificate or other approved documents proving their U.S. citizenship to be put on the primary election ballot in Oklahoma.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: April 7, 2011

President Barack Obama would have to prove his U.S. citizenship to Oklahoma election officials if he wants to be on next year's presidential primary ballot under a bill approved Wednesday by a House committee.

The provision in Senate Bill 91 is an amendment filed 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.

Shortey's 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 lot of people are classifying this as a birther bill which I don't think it is,” Shortey said. “The concern has stemmed from the questions that have arisen from President Obama.”

A similar measure failed to advance two years ago in the Legislature.

Doubts about the citizenship of the Democratic president, who announced this week he is seeking re-election, still linger from so-called “birthers,” a small but vocal group that has been questioning whether Obama actually was born on U.S. soil.

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