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-
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-
“All of our election laws don't deal anything with the presidential candidates,” Shortey said. “You can't challenge a presidential candidate for qualifications or eligibility.”
Shortey said that discussion over the president's birth prompted him to look into what proof presidential candidates must present to prove they are U.S. citizens, which is a requirement of the U.S. Constitution.
He couldn't find any, he said.
“Basically we just trust the guy,” Shortey said.
“This basically puts the responsibility on the state to basically qualify the candidate,” he said.
Obama in 2008 presented a “certificate of live birth” and a newspaper notice tells of Obama's birth in Honolulu in 1961. Shortey said that document wouldn't meet the eligibility requirements of SB 91.
The House of Representatives Rules committee passed SB 91 by a vote of 11-0. It now goes to the full House.
The Senate have approved another group of Gov. Mary Fallin's executive appointments. Receiving approval are: Jim Reese, Cabinet agriculture secretary and agriculture commissioner; Dave Lopez, commerce and tourism secretary and director of the Department of Commerce; Mike Ming, energy secretary; Alex Pettit, chief information officer; Gary Sherrer, environment secretary; and Michael Thompson, safety and security secretary and public safety commissioner.