Law sought to prove candidate citizenship in Oklahoma
Lawmaker wary of Obama record
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT
December 12, 2008
Theresa Cao speaks about President-elect Barack Obama's proof of U.S. citizenship outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday Dec. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A state lawmaker, motivated by swirling questions on whether President-elect Barack Obama meets the U.S. Constitution’s citizenship requirement, said Thursday he will file a bill requiring anyone who files for office in Oklahoma to show proof of citizenship.
"This could have taken care of the whole thing if we had a state law that any candidate has to show it up front,” said Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow.
Under a proposed bill by Ritze, all candidates, from those running for district attorney to president, would be required to provide a copy of a certified birth certificate and a driver’s license or some other form of government-issued identification at the time they file with the state Election Board.
No identification is required to file for an office with the state Election Board, although candidates sign an affidavit stating that they are registered voters.
Ritze, a physician, said he has a master’s degree in forensics and has had extensive training in analyzing documents and has read about the documents the Democratic president-elect has submitted.
Ritze said he does not believe Obama submitted an authentic copy of his birth certificate.
Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Ivan Holmes said he hadn’t seen the proposed legislation, but it appears to "be another typical Republican ploy of sour grapes.”
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Obama’s electoral eligibility Monday. More challenges are pending.
The Obama campaign last summer produced copies of his birth certificate, which showed he was born in a Honolulu hospital Aug. 4, 1961. It had a Web site, fightthesmears.com, to refute what it calls misinformation about Obama.
"Both our national and state constitutions are clear in what they require for a person to be qualified to hold elected office,” Ritze said.
"If a person can’t prove their citizenship, they have no business attempting to represent the people of this state.”