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Kansas board rejects objection to Obama on ballot

By John Milburn

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:08 a.m. HST, Apr 11, 2011

TOPEKA, Kan. >> A three-member panel on Monday rejected a Wichita engineer's request that President Barack Obama prove he's eligible to be on the 2012 Kansas ballot by showing a birth certificate.

Dave Shultz had asked the State Objections Board to compel Obama to produce a valid birth certificate to prove that he meets the citizenship requirements to run for president.

"I'm not accusing the man of anything," Shultz said. "Until now, the system seemed to suffice."

The board — Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Caleb Stegall representing the lieutenant governor — denied his request, saying that because Obama hasn't filed paperwork to be on the 2012 ballot the board lacks jurisdiction to question his eligibility.

No one from the Obama campaign attended Monday's hearing.

Kobach said the board could only rule on a case in three instances. The first, when papers are filed by a party indicating a candidate has been nominated for an office, if the candidate is to appear on a presidential preference primary, or if the candidate files by petition as an independent.

Kansas is likely to cancel its 2012 primary, meaning Obama would likely appear on the ballot after the September 2012 Democratic National Convention where he is expected to receive the party's nomination.

Once that occurs and the state is notified, residents would have three days to file an objection.

Kobach said proper notification of Obama's filing for office would be made with posting on the secretary of state's web site, as it is with state candidates.

"The task of this board is not to provide you with help for coming back later," Stegall said.

Shultz said he was a registered independent and "a reformer" with strong conservative views. He made his claim relying on his own investigations and information he gleaned from the Internet. He said he tried to "connect the dots" to prove that Obama was a citizen and born in Hawaii, but he was unable to find what he said was valid proof.

Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed Obama's citizenship, and his Hawaiian birth certificates have been made public.

Shultz's claim is similar to concerns raised for the past three years regarding Obama's birth certificate. Critics maintain his birth certificate isn't authentic and raises questions if he is a U.S. citizen as the Constitution requires.

Shultz said Kansas wouldn't be the first state to take action on requiring proof of citizenship to run for president. Arizona and Nebraska are among at least 10 states that have introduced legislation that would change state election laws to require proof of citizenship as a prerequisite for getting a name placed on a ballot.

Shultz also noted Kansas residents will have to prove citizenship to register to vote under a new law Kobach pushed through the Legislature and is awaiting Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's signature.

"There's a groundswell of activity," Shultz said.

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