A Skull Valley Republican has filed a bill that would require all presidential candidates to submit proof that they were born in the United States if they want to be included on the ballot in Arizona.
The measure appears to be a direct response to questions surrounding President Barack Obama’s eligibility. Some people continue to argue that Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore is not constitutionally eligible to be president. The candidate also would have to sign an affidavit stating that they are a U.S. citizen.
The U.S. Constitution stipulates that a person can run for president only if he or she is a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and has been a resident for at least 14 years.
The measure, H2441, was introduced by Rep. Judy Burges, a Republican from Skull Valley.
Burges did not return multiple phone calls.
“Certainly, there has been controversy over President Obama and his birth certificate, where he was born, etc,” said Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Republican from Snowflake who co-sponsored the measure along with more than three-dozen lawmakers.
Allen said many people are spending a lot of time on the issue.
“It just makes sense and will stop any controversy in the future to just show you are a natural born citizen,” she said.
But Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Phoenix, said the whole idea is “ridiculous and offensive.”
“He clearly met the standards to run for president and hold office as president because the federal government installed him as president in January of last year. The question has been asked and answered,” she said.
Also under H2442, the secretary of state would have to independently verify if the documents submitted are accurate.
If the secretary of state has “reasonable cause to believe” that the candidate does not meet the citizenship, age and residency requirements, then the candidate’s name would be withheld from the ballot.
Even if the bill passes, Sinema said there would be problems enforcing it.
“The secretary of state has no jurisdiction over federal law or over the federal government,” she said.