Before the article, this disclaimer. There is far and above enough evidence for any rational person to be assured that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. The “crisis” that the birthers talk about is not a grass roots uprising caused by President Obama’s refusal to release a different version of the birth certificate he released back in 2008. The “crisis” is an engineered one, started and fanned by right-wing media types and pro-Israel operatives, finding resonance with racists, disaffected Hillary Clinton Supporters, right-wing partisans and folks who generally don’t believe anything the government says. If it weren’t the birth certificate, it would be something else.
That said, it has come to light that the process by which we determine eligibility of our candidates for president is not as stringent as it might be. The chance that a major party candidate for president would be certified by a state party is very small, and the chance one would be nominated smaller still, and certification by the national party vanishingly small. However, it is always possible that a minor party candidate might slip through the cracks and, while not electable, might take votes away from a major party candidate and sway the election. (I suspect a lot of folks in South Carolina will be voting Green this year, and I don’t mean Alvin.)
State laws today typically require political parties to certify the eligibility of their candidates. With such a precedent, I find it hard to believe that States do not have the power to command further documentary evidence, say a birth certificate. It couldn’t hurt.