'Birther' controversy could keep President off the AZ ballot

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by Kristine Harrington

Bio | Email | Follow: @kharrington3tv

azfamily.com

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Updated Sunday, May 20 at 12:01 PM

PHOENIX -- The "birther controversy" is back.
 
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett wants proof of President Barack Obama's citizenship before putting his name on the Arizona ballot.
 
Bennett says he is not a birther, he says he believes the President was in fact born in Hawaii, but he also says he's received some 1200 emails from Arizona voters who have their doubts and it's his duty to follow up.
 
“Yes in fact I was born in Hawaii August 4, 1961,” said President Barack Obama back in August 2011.
 
“We've posted the certificate on the website people provide affidavits, they've seen my birth certificate yet it just keeps going," Obama said.
 
This week in an interview with KFYI's Mike Broomhead, Bennett acknowledged asking the state of Hawaii to further verify the president's birth.
 
“If they can't say yes to that simple question then it makes me wonder if we have to take it to another level,” said Bennett. 
 
Broomhead then asked the state's top election official what exactly that meant.
 
“Will you remove President from the ballot," asked Broomhead.
 
"That is possible,” said Bennett.
 
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been investigating the President's birth certificate since last August.
 
“I told my posse I want you to clear the President once and for all, say this is a legit birth certificate, but it didn't work that way,” said Arpaio.
 
The Sheriff said his investigation is ongoing.
 
“This investigation from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Secretary of State Ken Bennett is wasting our time and our money on a question that has already been answered,” said Luis Heredia of the Arizona Democratic Party.
 
It's been eight weeks since Bennett asked Hawaii to confirm the President's birth but still no response. 
 
He said if he doesn’t hear back from Hawaii, he's considering asking all candidates for President to provide a certified copy of their birth certificate before having their name placed on the ballot.

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