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Seel’s striker would allow voters to file suit against presidential candidates

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks in support of Rep. Carl Seel’s HB2480 March 27. The amended bill would require presidential candidates in Arizona to file an affidavit under the penalty of perjury that the candidate is qualified to hold office. (Photo by Josh Coddington/Arizona Capitol Times)

Rep. Carl Seel is getting the backing of Arizona’s most high-profile sheriff in pushing for a state law that would allow voters to file suit against any political candidate they believe is legally ineligible to run for office, in what appears to be another challenge to the citizenship of President Barack Obama.

Seel, a Phoenix Republican, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pushed the strike-everything amendment to HB2480 as a non-partisan voter-protection measure in a press conference at the Capitol today.

“There are no statutory protections for voters to know who they’re voting on,” Seel said. “If you want to run for office, more power to you. Just be who you say you are.”

Seel and Arpaio were joined by Rep. David Smith, R-Scottsdale, and Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem.

Seel’s measure was tacked on to a health care bill. Seel said 17 senators have pledged support for the measure, although he admitted he doesn’t have much time to pass it this session.

“It’s on life support, for sure, if it’s not in (Senate) Rules (Committee) by Monday,” he said.

Seel is introducing the measure in the middle of an investigation initiated by Arpaio into the legitimacy of some of Obama’s legal documents, including his Hawaii birth certificate, posted online by White House staff, and the President’s Selective Service registration card.

Investigators working under Arpaio released findings earlier this month claiming Obama’s card was “likely forged.” That finding is based on a time-stamp on the form reading “July 29, 80,” which Arpaio’s investigators claim is incomplete because it is missing the first two digits of “1980.”

So far, neither the administration nor the Selective Service has spoken out about the accusations. Attempts to challenge the legitimacy of the President’s birth certificate have been unsuccessful and contested by public officials in Hawaii.

But that’s not stopping Arizona lawmakers from probing into the president’s Selective Service registration records before the 2012 elections.

“I challenge anyone in this room to look at this form and tell me it’s not suspicious,” Smith said.

Seel last session sponsored similar legislation, which was passed by the Legislature. But Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the measure.

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