Bill in Oklahoma Requiring Birth Certificates from Presidential Candidates Draws Criticism

Article excerpt

State Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, said his proposal to tighten the filing requirements for future presidential candidates is simply a way to unify state election laws.

Opponents say it's a way to resurrect the issue of President Barack Obama's citizenship status.

Under Senate Bill 1569, future U.S. presidential candidates would be required to show birth certificates when filing for office. Shortey said his bill would bring the requirements for the country's highest office in line with those for other elected offices.

Shortey said the language for the bill was modeled after requirements for statewide candidates.

"This just makes presidential candidates file the same paperwork that we have to file," he said.

Opponents, however, said Shortey was attempting to bring back the issue of Obama's citizenship.

"This seemed like just another effort to bring the birther issue back up," said state Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa. "It has nothing to do with jobs, health care or education, but just to get the base out in Oklahoma."

Eason McIntyre said the bill was part of an ongoing effort to destroy the president.

"This bill is racially motivated," she said. "It's based on all that has happened."

Shortey said the measure was needed because currently there is no way to vet presidential candidates.

"There was a question nationwide about President Obama's natural born citizenship status," he said Wednesday. …