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Date Filed v. Date Accepted

This came in the mail:

I ran across a birther argument [on Free Republic] I could not answer. Obama’s COLB has a “Date Filed,” whereas other COLB’s posted on the internet have a “Date Accepted.”

The birthers seem to be attaching a lot of significance to this discrepancy. I briefly searched the Hawaii DOH websites to see if I could find any information on what it might mean, but was unsuccessful.

If you have time, you may want to explore this further. I’d be curious to know what you find.

Look at the “Alan” birth certificate (long form from 1963)

The short answer is that other Hawaiian birth certificates in the Internet DO say “Date Filed” on them and in general that is what most Birth Certificates say today to meet Passport requirements.

When a Vital Records agency prints an abstract form like Obama’s COLB they put old data in the current format. Without a definitive policy from the Health Department, we can’t tell  which of the two blocks from the birth registration, 20 or 22 went on Obama’s form. I would think it’s block 22, the date the State accepted the record from the local registrar.

Even today, birth registration is sometimes done by local agencies (for example a county health department in Indiana). Note that the signature next to the Date Accepted (block 20) is that of a military officer (COL, MSC, USA), which would indicate that the signer was most likely someone over the U. S. Army Tripler General Hospital.

The Alan document would have been forwarded to the State from the Army hospital and it would be stamped with a state-wide certificate number (or File Number in this case). You see the state acceptance date 4 days later (block 22).

Look at this Hawaiian Death Certificate from 1992.

It also has two blocks and they are labeled “Date received by local registrar” and “Date Filed by State Registrar”. Page 6 of that document shows a 1991 version of the COLB which looks to be hand typed on some decent security paper and shows only “Date Received by Local Registrar”.

Some modern COLB’s say “Date Accepted by State Registrar” and some say “Date Filed by Registrar”. Below is another example with the same wording as Obama’s.

[Image courtesy of “Ron Polarik”] Click to enlarge.

Sample Hawaiian COLB similar to Obama's

Sample Hawaiian COLB similar to Obama’s

I received a second email that fleshed out the “argument” a little more:

His birth certificate was placed on file with the State of Hawaii, but it was never accepted by the state and placed into the official record of birth certificates. That is why his Certification of Live Birth (the short form) says “Date Filed By Registrar” instead of “Date Accepted By State Registrar” which is the statement that is normally on a COLB.

This is a good example of someone making up facts as they go along.

The Date Filed is the important date because US Passport regulations accept a birth certificate FILED within one year as proof of citizenship without further documentation. If for some reason Obama’s birth registration had not been “accepted” by the state, then the state wouldn’t issue it.

A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth.

US State Department Passport Application page

Since the original publication of this article, a response was received from the Hawaii Department of Health regarding this question. The reply was as follows:

In regards to the terms “date accepted” and “date filed” on a Hawaii birth certificate, the department has no records that define these terms. Historically, the terms “Date accepted by the State Registrar” and “Date filed by the State Registrar” referred to the date a record was received in a Department of Health office (on the island of O‘ahu or on the neighbor islands of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, or Lana‘i), and the date a file number was placed on a record (only done in the main office located on the island of O‘ahu) respectively.

Historically, most often the “date accepted” and the “date filed” is the same date as the majority of births occur on O‘ahu (the island with the largest population in our state). In the past, when births were recorded on paper they may have been accepted at a health office on an island other than O‘ahu, such as Kaua‘i. The paper record would then need to be sent to O‘ahu to have a file number placed on it, and the filed date would then be sometime later (as you know, the state of Hawai‘i is comprised of multiple islands with miles of water in between). The electronic age has changed this process significantly, and it was determined some time ago that one date would suffice.

Janice Okubo
Hawaii State Department of Health

What I find most informative in this response is the confirmation that certificates are numbered centrally, something I have been saying had to be the case.

Update 3: Something has been staring me in the face for two years and I never noticed it. There is no “Date Filed” on a Hawaiian long form birth certificate from 1961. The COLB is abstracted from the long form. Therefore, no matter what the COLB says, the date on it is the “Date Accepted” because that’s the only date on the form it’s copied from. Hawaii may have changed terms, but the 1961 form only has a “Date Accepted” on it.

37 Responses to Date Filed v. Date Accepted

  1. avatar
    richCares February 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Hawaii Health Dept has acknowledged that these wording changes were made without also changing the Form number. Form numbers are only for an internal office matter. They said in typical Hawaiian fashion “Ain’t no big thing”

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    It could be that the label for filed/accepted could be a variable in the print routine. They could use different labels for data from different eras to reflect different definitions of their data fields at different times.

    I’ve never worked on Hawaii’s system, so I can’t say for sure what they’re doing..

  3. avatar
    TRUTH March 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Excuse me DOC?! “…. so I can’t say for sure what they’re doing….”

    And the HI health dept has no Definitive policy?

    But we’re 100% sure that what we have seen is legitimate. Okie Doke.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    Well Truth, there are some things which are rather simple: “Location of Birth: Honolulu”. That doesn’t take much explanation. “Date filed by Registrar” could be interpreted differently within a narrow range of possibilities since we don’t know whether it refers to a local registrar or a state registrar.

    I’m sure the Health Department has a definitive policy; I just don’t know what it is.

    The obvious reason that this field is on the form is to meet the requirements of the Passport Office on timely registration for acceptable birth certificates for passport purposes. Late registrations (which Obama’s isn’t) are a primary source of certificate registration fraud. If the date were a year out (or even maybe a month) then I would be telling you that this is a “caution flag”.

    What I have seen on other sample birth certificates from Hawaii is a lag of 2-4 days between event and registration, which is exactly what we have in Obama’s case.

  5. avatar
    OMB March 6, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    One of the ‘Birther’ Myth Busters dropped in and left a web site for your review. I haven’t reviewed all of it, but mainly this looks like a Birther branding site. From what I’ve seen, they have no more factual data on Obama’s origins than do the folks on the ‘Birther’ side, yet there is a we’re right your wrong element that would lead you to believe that they do. In addition, the tone of the site is such as to categorize all people who question Obama’s origins and legitimacy to the office as conspiracy theorists.

    Now remember, I have stated flatly, that I don’t know whether or not Obama was born in Hawaii (in fact, I think he probably was) – and neither does obamaconspiracy.org, they just take the point of view that he was and argue from there, but there is no proof presented. Which is fine with me. In addition, I’m not implying by my original post that there is a conspiracy, I’m merely stating the fact that President Transparency is being awfully secretive about his past, and I believe that where there is smoke, there is fire. Most importantly, I’m defending the right of all Americans to demand that their Constitutional protections be enforced.

    The only conspiracy of which I’m aware is the one to silence those who would question President Wonderful’s right to hold that office on a Constitutional basis. Like I said in my post, when the stigmatizing labels start getting applied, you can be pretty sure that you are getting close to truth of which you are not to speak.
    -OMB
    libertybunker.com

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 6, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    I do not know of any conspiracy to “silence” the “birthers”.

    When you say:

    Like I said in my post, when the stigmatizing labels start getting applied, you can be pretty sure that you are getting close to truth of which you are not to speak.

    are you talking about those who words like “Obamaton, O-Bot, Obamabot, Obamatron, Obamathug, Obamaniac, “birther branding” and Obongoite” or are you talking about those who use the words “nObama” and “birther”? I don’t like labels much, although I have even seen “Nobama” on anti-Obama web sites.

    The statement that there is “no proof” of Obama being born in Hawaii presented here is an irresponsible and false statement. There is a birth certificate, a supporting statement from Hawaiian officials, and contemporary birth announcements in two newspapers. And we have a tape here where Barack Obama’s grandmother says he was born in Hawaii! So don’t give me this “no proof” crap.

  7. avatar
    Ian Gould March 6, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    “Like I said in my post, when the stigmatizing labels start getting applied, you can be pretty sure that you are getting close to truth of which you are not to speak.”

    You mean like when people who claim Bush and Cheney planned 9/11 are called “Truthers” and when people who claim the Holocaust is a hoax are called “denialists”?

  8. avatar
    Heavy March 6, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Doc, you’ve spent many months trying pawn off this jibberish as “Facts”. They are not.

    I have asked you on several occasions to relate EXACTLY what the HI officials said, but you have not.

    I’m not sure if you realize how your continual recycling of the same useless information helps to bring more people to OUR side, but thank you!

  9. avatar
    OMB March 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    I prefer Obeyme.
    Labeling is a means of discrediting the argument without the need to deal with the argument, whether it is sourced from the left or the right. Again, my point is not whether or not Obama was born in Hawaii or not, it is that the American people have the right to ask for evidence of that fact, based on the Constitution. I believe that it is incumbent upon Obama to provide documentation not to factcheck.org but publicly, and directly to the American people.
    By the way, I didn’t say that proof didn’t exist, as I recall, I said that it has not been made public and that what you are presenting does not constitute proof. In any case, my point is related to the labeling and the dismissive tone of those with respect to those of us who believe that President Transparency isn’t being all that transparent. I honestly hope that he is natural born, I don’t want to see a constitutional crisis. I will believe that he meets the requirements when he makes public all of his birth, educational, and passport records. To date, that hasn’t been done.
    -OMB

  10. avatar
    Bob March 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Again, my point is not whether or not Obama was born in Hawaii or not, it is that the American people have the right to ask for evidence of that fact, based on the Constitution.

    You have the right to ask; that doesn’t mean you the right to compel a response. And if you don’t like the response (or lack thereof), you may vote accordingly.

    I believe that it is incumbent upon Obama to provide documentation

    It isn’t legally required.

    not to factcheck.org but publicly, and directly to the American people.

    He posted it on a public web site. What would you like: Obama to go door-to-door with original in hand?

  11. avatar
    OMB March 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    Bob,
    You are just plain wrong. The people do have the right to demand that he prove his eligibility, the Constitution guarantees that. Now if you don’t like the Constitution, you can work to have it amended, otherwise, deal with it.

    When you say it isn’t legally required, you sound a little like VP Al Gore saying ‘there’s no controlling legal authority’, in answering questions about the money he took from the Chinese. Maybe it’s not legally required, I believe that point is debatable, but it is clearly the right thing to do. When I joined the military, I was required to provide an official copy of my birth certificate, I don’t think its too much to ask the Commander in Chief to do the same.

    As to going door to door, that would be a better use of his time than flying around the country running down the economy and spending us out of existence, but I think a prime time address to the American people, displaying the documents in question would do for me.

    -OMB

  12. avatar
    Bob March 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    The people do have the right to demand that he prove his eligibility, the Constitution guarantees that.

    And where, exactly, is this “right” to demand in the U.S. Constitution?

    I believe that point is debatable, but it is clearly the right thing to do.

    And you can vote accordingly. But you can’t make up legal requirements were none exist.

    I think a prime time address to the American people, displaying the documents in question would do for me.

    Just like Bush did a prime time address to debunk the 9/11 crowd, or Clinton did a prime time address to debunk the Vince Foster murder allegations?

    Being a good president means knowing when not to sweat the small stuff.

  13. avatar
    OMB March 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Bob,
    Could you direct me to where I Vince Foster’s name or 9/11 are mentioned in the Constitution, I must have missed those articles? Because what I am referring to is spelled out in the Constitution. Nice try.

    So, would your argument then be that yes, the requirements are in the document, but no one in the country has standing in the eyes of the law, to demand compliance? If I don’t have standing, who exactly does have legal standing?

    -OMB

  14. avatar
    Bob March 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    If I don’t have standing, who exactly does have legal standing?

    A candidate in the election, like Clinton or McCain. The dismissal order in Berg v. Obama explains all of this.

    Could you direct me to where I Vince Foster’s name or 9/11 are mentioned in the Constitution, I must have missed those articles?

    The was the president does not make a prime time address to resolve every crank’s gripe.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    High Crimes and misdemeanors are mentioned in the Constitution. Nothing about Birth Certificates though.

  16. avatar
    OMB March 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    Bob,

    Wow, that sure makes it simple, the courts are always right! I’m guessing there are more than a few folks that might disagree with that argument on a number of different historic issues, you know, like Slavery, Jim Crowe, etc..

    The bottom line is you guys are afraid of this issue, and its not going away.

    Cheers!
    -OMB

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Bush v. Gore

  18. avatar
    Bob March 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    “The courts got Dred Scott wrong and therefore are always wrong” is logical fallacy, to say the least.

    The bottom line is you guys are afraid of this issue

    Who is “you guys”? I’m not afraid of this issue; the endless wheel spinning is highly amusing.

    its not going away

    You may have finally got something correct; congrats. While this issue may never go away, it will also never gain traction.

  19. avatar
    Ian Gould March 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    The Constitution requires that the President be a Natural Born Citizen.

    It does not provide a legal mechanism for private citizens to require any proof of the President;s eligibility.

    Determining candidates’ eligibility is the responsibility of the states.

    Obama’s campaign submitted to each State’s Attorney-general the same information as every other candidate.

    You are now demanding that he satisfy additional requirements not in the relevant state laws because you don’t like his policies.

    It’s as if McCain had been elected and people claimed he was actually a Soviet agent substituted for the real McCain while he was a POW in Vietnam.

    “How do we KNOW he’s the real John McCain? All we want is for him to submit to a body cavity search on live TV to check for Soviet mind-control devices. The Constitution gives us that right.”

    How about David Icke’s followers, do they have the right to demand the President be inspected by doctors of their choice to prove he isn’t a shape-changing alien reptile?

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    reptoid

  21. avatar
    bogus info March 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    “The people do have the right to demand that he prove his eligibility, the Constitution guarantees that.”

    Where in the Constitution does it guarantee that people have the right to demand that the President prove his eligibility? Where?

  22. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 7, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    The Constitution gives Congress the power to evaluate and determine Presidential eligibility,, under the terms of the 20th Amendment. Congress can set its own standards on how to do so.

  23. avatar
    Zuzu March 13, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    We know for a fact his original birth certificate was on record with the Dept. of Vital Records of the Hawaii Health Dept. within a week of his birth.

    How? According to the PUMA who found the newspaper birth announcement dated Aug. 13, 1961, the paper printed only those statistics made public by the Dept. of Vital Records – in fact, the heading of the announcements section says “Health Bureau Statistics” (see site linked below). The info did NOT come from the family.

    Birth announcement and comment

  24. avatar
    Zuzu March 13, 2009 at 9:06 pm #

    Okay, let’s try for the right link this time:

    Birth announcement and comment

    Sorry.

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    TD did her homework better on the birth announcement than she did on Indonesian citizenship.

  26. avatar
    thisoldhippie March 13, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Hey, Doc, using your website got me banned from Plains Radio! Guess I can really be a part of the club now?

  27. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 13, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Determining candidates’ eligibility is the responsibility of the states.

    Actually, I don’t see how that can be the case. States can set their own rules for qualifying for their ballot, but they do not have legal authority to determine the federal law as to who is eligible to hold the office.

    Determining the eligibility of the President-elect is clearly the responsibility of Congress, under Article II, and the 12th & 20th Amendments of the US Constitution.

    A clear mechanism for raising and determining objections is set forth in 3 USC §§15-19 (“Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received.”)

  28. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 13, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    While I agree that it the ultimate responsibility of Congress, still that is extremely late in the process to discover an elected candidate is ineligible.

    There is precedent for states refusing to place ineligible candidates on the ballot, specifically Eldridge Cleaver (too young) by Hawaii and California. I recall that the Hawaii Supreme Court upheld the decision to refuse him a ballot position.

  29. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 14, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    While I agree that it the ultimate responsibility of Congress, still that is extremely late in the process to discover an elected candidate is ineligible.

    The only reason that we have this so-called “issue” is that it is a false one. If there ever is arise a legitimate doubt about a candidate’s eligibility, it would certainly be raised early in the process.

    You can see how it played out with McCain — he really did have some concern about his eligibility — so he sought & obtained a “nonbinding” resolution from Congress early in his candidacy to resolve the question of his status. If Congress is the only body empowered by the Constitution to determine eligibility — then it makes sense to go to them for an advance opinion.

  30. avatar
    Zuzu March 14, 2009 at 1:55 am #

    Well, she grudgingly accepted someone else’s research. I guess the fact that the someone else was the person who found the birth announcement made it kind of hard to ignore.

  31. avatar
    Zuzu March 14, 2009 at 2:28 am #

    BTW, scrolling through those comments is a real trip to crazytown.

  32. avatar
    Vince Treacy November 25, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    Doctor, just a little heads up.

    We have been having a long discussion of “filed/accepted” at a thread at the Turley blog, and I have referred a poster to your site because of the expertise of you and the other posters.

    Keep up the good work. The Obama Conspiracy site gets better all the time.

  33. avatar
    Vince Treacy November 25, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    This is the Turley thread with the filed accepted discussion.

    http://jonathanturley.org/2009/09/27/client-fires-orly-taitz-and-threatens-bar-complaint-against-her-as-judge-explores-sanctions/#comment-92780

  34. avatar
    Black Lion November 25, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Vince, I can’t believe that Lucas Smith is over there trying to defend is so called Kenyan BC that he got in the Dominican Republic…

  35. avatar
    Vince Treacy November 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    He seemed insulted that his nickname “InspectorSmith” was not a household word.

  36. avatar
    JohnC December 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    I don’t understand what the contoversy is. So what if the COLB states that the birth certificate was “filed by” rather than “accepted by”? The fact is that Hawaii issued the COLB, regardless of the specific term used.

    The very existence of the COLB itself should resolve any doubts on this question. The COLB, by its own wording, states that it is prima facie evidence of the fact of the person’s birth in any court. Why would the State of Hawaii issue a document which is all but legally conclusive on the fact of Obama’s birth if Hawaii regards the record of his birth as not properly completed or submitted? That is, after all, the rub of the “filed by” theory pushed by birthers.