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Latino Daily News

Friday April 15, 2011

Arizona Vote in Country’s First Presidential ‘Birther’ Bill

Arizona Vote in Country’s First Presidential ‘Birther’ Bill

Photo: Birther bill in Arizona

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Late last night Arizona’s legislature voted in the country’s first ‘birther’ bill requiring all Presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens before their names can appear on the state’s election ballot.

The measure deemed by state Republicans as necessary to maintain “election integrity” was viewed by many others as something aimed directly toward President Obama and no one else.  The measure passed in a 40-16 vote count. 

The ‘birther’ issue is centered around the belief that the current President was not born in this country and therefore is not constitutionally qualified to hold office.  The constitution requires the President to have been ‘naturally’ born in the country in order to hold office.  Thirteen other states have said they are considering the measure and four states have defeated such proposals when they came up for vote.

The Arizona measure would require a Presidential candidate to provide a sworn affidavit that they were born in the U.S., provide a copy of their birth certificate and testimony as to where they have lived for the last 14 years.  If an election committee does not believe a candidate has met the requirements they can be kept off the ballot.

The legislation will become law once Governor Jan Brewer signs the measure.