PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday vetoed a bill to require President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove their U.S. citizenship before their names can appear on the state's ballot.
The bill vetoed by Brewer on Monday would have made Arizona the first state to pass such a requirement. The Arizona bill included proof-of-qualification for all candidates appearing on Arizona ballots, with those varying by the office sought.
Hawaii officials have certified Obama was born in that state, but so-called "birthers," who falsely claim Obama was born in his father's native Kenya, have demanded more proof.
Brewer said in her veto letter that she was troubled that the bill empowered Arizona's secretary of state to judge the qualifications of all candidates when they file to run for office.
"I do not support designating one person as the gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions," said Brewer, who was secretary of state until she became governor in 2009.
"In addition, I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on Earth to submit their 'early baptismal circumcision certificates' among other records to the Arizona secretary of state," she said. "This is a bridge too far."
The certificates are among the documents a candidate could submit in place of a birth certificate.
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