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State Senators Voted Today for New Proof of Qualifications for Presidential Candidate to be on State Ballots

Phoenix, AZ – The legislation originally would have required a candidate to produce a certified copy of a long form birth certificate which would have to include the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and any attending physician, and the signatures of any witnesses in attendance. Senators did agree to provide alternatives for those who do not have such a document, including a baptismal certificate, postpartum medical record, or affidavits of two people who were present at birth. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said the measure is illegal.

(The state does not have the authority to require a candidate to provide more than the United States Constitution requires that candidate to provide. At that specific and very basic level, we are overstepping our state bounds.)

Senate President Russell Pearce disagreed.

(This is an obligation the state has. Not only is it a right. And under the constitution there are certain requirements just as there are statutory requirements that must be met. The verification of those is not only legitimate. It's appropriate.)

There was no mention of Barack Obama during the debate. But there was no interest in this issue until last year when some Republican legislators said questions remain about whether he was born in the United States, one of the federal constitutional requirements to be president. The House has yet to vote on the concept. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.