The Washington Post

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett satisfied Obama was born in United States

President Obama will be on the ballot in Arizona after all.

U.S. President Barack Obama's birth certificate that was released by the White House in Washington April 27, 2011. (REUTERS/The White House/Handout)

“Late yesterday, our office received the 'verification in-lieu of certified copy' from officials within the Hawaii Department of Health that we requested in March,” Bennett said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “They have officially confirmed that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for the President matches the original record in their files.”

 Bennett also defended his decision to request the additional information, which drew massive national headlines. The secretary of state, who is planning to run for governor in 2014, has repeatedly said that he is not a “birther” who believes Obama was born abroad. He was merely answering the requests of over a thousand Arizonans who wanted Obama’s birth certificate examined.

“At the request of numerous constituents, I merely asked Hawaiian officials to verify the information contained within President Obama’s original birth certificate,” he said in the statement. “They have complied with the request and I consider the matter closed.”

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one of the most prominent national figures questioning Obama’s birth origins. A bill requiring presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship in Arizona was vetoed last year by Gov. Jan Brewer (R), who said the measure “creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona.”

On Tuesday, Bennett told a local radio station that he “didn’t do this for attention” and that “if I embarrassed the state, I apologize.” But, he added: “What is so sacred or untouchable about this question that you can’t even ask the question?”

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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