In a Phoenix NBC affiliate interview, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett examined a copy of President Obama’s published Certification of Live Birth and said that its contents meet the requirements of the Arizona birther bill, HB2177, which was passed by the Arizona house last Thursday and is headed to the governor for signature. Bennett stated the hospital, physician and witness signatures mentioned in the bill are not absolute requirements, but only required “if applicable”. Bennett stated that as important as the birth certificate itself is, the accompanying certification of the copy is equally important. [The copy Bennett was shown lacked a visible seal and the stamp on the back was not reproduced.]
The language Bennett used most likely references what is called an apostille birth certificate, the type of certificate he works with in his official capacity. The apostille birth certificate is a certified copy of a birth certificate accompanied by an additional certification letter from a competent authority (typically a secretary of state in the US). Apostille certificates are normally issued for legal documents used internationally. Bennett in his role as Arizona Secretary of State would be familiar with birth certificates and apostilles, unlike the average state legislator.
Bennett expressed concern, however, over lawsuits. Under the Arizona bill, any citizen could bring a suit over the Secretary of State’s decision. No matter what Bennett does, it is virtually certain that some citizen (or many of them) would file a lawsuit trying to overturn his decision. Given the tight time frame in the preparation of the ballot after candidate filing deadlines, Bennett could see a problem if there were lengthy legal battles.
I find the birther bill in Arizona remarkable in that it doesn’t trust the candidates, the political parties, nor even the state’s own Secretary of State. Also check out a related interview with the bill’s sponsor Carl Seel (who believes Obama has spent millions hiding his birth certificate while John McCain released his — both false).