PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's secretary of state said Wednesday that Hawaii's official verification of President Barack Obama's birth records meets necessary requirements, meaning the president's name will appear on Arizona's ballot in the fall.
The inquiry launched recently by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett gave official weight to a long-simmering political controversy generated by those who say that Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore is ineligible to hold the nation's highest office.
The Obama administration attempted a year ago to dismiss the conflict by releasing his long-form birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii.
But skeptics maintained their stance and eventually Bennett announced he would seek further verification at the request of numerous voters who contacted his office, even saying he was prepared to leave Obama's name off the state's ballot in November.
Bennett, a Republican, said in a written statement that Hawaii officials "have complied with the request, and I consider the matter closed."
Bennett's office says Obama's name will appear on Arizona's November ballot as long as he wins his party's nomination and all paperwork is properly completed.
Obama campaign spokesman Mahen Gunaratna noted that Bennett also is Arizona campaign co-chair for Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney. Gunaratna said Bennett's inquiry will have no bearing on the election, "But it does present an opportunity for Mitt Romney to finally rise to the occasion and denounce the extreme voices in his party."
The Romney campaign responded saying the candidate has made his stance on the issue clear.
"I think the citizenship test has been passed," Romney said to CNBC in April, a statement relayed to The Associated Press by his campaign on Wednesday. "I believe the president was born in the United States. And there are real reasons to get this guy out of office."
Hawaii State Registrar Alvin Onaka sent the document Tuesday confirming the information on Obama's birth certificate, such as the Honolulu hospital where he was born and the names and ages of his parents.
Hawaii officials have repeatedly verified Obama's citizenship as skeptics have maintained that the president was born in Kenya, his father's home country.
State and federal courts also have rejected lawsuits over the issue.
The verification process was the subject of three months of back and forth, with Hawaii officials initially saying Bennett had to show why he needed the information as part of ordinary business.
Other Arizona officials over the last year have raised questions about Obama's birth certificate.
Last year, the state Legislature passed a bill that would have required presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before their names could appear on the state's ballot.
The proposal was vetoed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who called the measure "a bridge too far."
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America, had a volunteer posse launch an investigation into the issue, saying in March there was reason to believe Obama's long-form birth certificate is a computer-generated forgery.
Arpaio, known for his hardline stance on illegal immigration, said Wednesday the information given to Bennett's office doesn't dispel his suspicions. He vowed to continue his posse's investigation until Hawaii officials provide microfilm of the original birth certificate or the original document itself.
Earlier this spring, Bennett's office made a change that requires candidates to complete a new form asking eligibility questions, including whether they are natural-born U.S. citizens.
In the past, political parties drafted their own certification documents that Arizona officials say didn't consistently address the issue of qualifications.
Democrat state Rep. Chad Campbell, Arizona's House minority leader, called on Bennett to step down as co-chair of the Romney campaign, saying if he doesn't, then he should resign as secretary of state.
Bennett declined through a spokesman to comment on Campbell's appeal.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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