KWCH-TV reports that the Kansas State Objections Board is asking for additional documents before they decide whether Barack Obama can be on the ballot for President in Kansas. The board consists of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (all Republicans). Kobach said, “I don’t think it’s a frivolous objection,” referring to the the presentation by Manhattan, Kansas, resident Joe Montgomery who makes his case (primarily the two-citizen parent theory) in this video:
This story seems to be a repeat of the Ken Bennett fiasco in Arizona: Bennett asks Hawaii for verification – Hawaii sends verification – Bennett looks silly for asking to verify a document the White House released over a year ago and the State of Hawaii has verified on its web site for as long. There is a twist, however, in Kansas where they are asking for:
…certified documents from Hawaii and two other states where similar questions about Obama’s citizenship have been raised.
Is this like a credit card and two photo IDs? The Topeka Capitol-Journal indicates that the documents from the “other two states” are the verifications Hawaii sent to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and the one sent to the Mississippi Democratic Party Executive Committee (subsequently filed with the federal court in Mississippi). I’m baffled by the request for three copies of the same verification, unless they are actually just asking for one of the three. I presume that this will be resolved by the State of Hawaii sending the certified verification that they have sent twice before. It seems rather a waste of time, though.
The obvious question is whether the particulars of Kansas law require the Objections Board to do what they did, or whether they have just gone birther. To this observer, it looks like the Objections Board is trying to get out of a sticky spot. I believe that they would approve Obama for the ballot no matter what documents they get, but this way, they get some birther creds for asking the question; however, if no documents are forthcoming by Monday, their self-imposed deadline, things will get messy for the board.
Should the board exclude Obama from the ballot, then clearly the Democratic Party and/or the Obama campaign will sue and they will have an injury in fact. It is not necessarily true that the question of who is a natural born citizen will be adjudicated, because a court may rule in Obama’s favor, saying that states have no authority to exclude presidential candidates over eligibility questions.
I poked around the Kansas election statutes a little, and didn’t find much. It certainly looks bad when all the members of the Objections Board are from the same political party.