New bill would require Barack Obama to provide proof of birth to get on Georgia ballot

State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, just handed me a copy of his new bill, HB 401, which would require President Barack Obama to provide certified proof of his birth to the Georgia secretary of state in order to appear on next year’s presidential primary and general election ballots.

The bill has the signatures of 94 members of the 180-member House, including that of one Democrat, Glenn Baker of Jonesboro.

State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross. Ben Gray, bgray@ajc.com

State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross. Ben Gray, bgray@ajc.com

The measure will get its first hearing on Wednesday. Read the bill here.

If you’re a member of the Georgia Ports Authority or Georgia Chamber of Commerce, still attempting to persuade the White House to add a few zeros to that appropriation for the dredging of the Port of Savannah, this is your cue to cut loose an animal howl of frustration.

At minimum, the bill will make for some interesting chatter when the national press comes down to hear Newt Gingrich’s announcement that he’s exploring a GOP run for president.

Hatfield attempted similar legislation last year. From my AJC colleague April Hunt:

“I think the issue with our sitting president has been left unresolved for a significant length of time that people have concerns,” Hatfield said. “But this is not just about our current president. It’s about enforcing the constitutional provisions for anyone who seeks the office of presidency.”

Hatfield’s bill would require certified copies of “the candidate’s first original long-form birth certificate.” Documentation as provided by Hawaii, which has insisted time and time again that Obama was born there, “would not suffice,” Hatfield said.

Alternative documents include:

….the candidate’s birth records, adoption records, baptism records, Social Security records, medical records, school and college records, military records, and passport records showing, either individually or collectively, that the candidate meets the natural born citizenship, age, and residency requirements prescribed by Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

What’s more, even if the Georgia secretary of state certifies a candidate as native born, HB 401 would give any registered voter a two-week window to challenge the candidate’s bona fides.

Furthermore, the bill would make it a “misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature” for any Georgia member of the electoral college to cast a vote for the candidate.

It’s not clear what support this has from House Republican leaders – many of whose signatures are missing. Gov. Nathan Deal, who as a congressman signed a letter to Obama requesting such documentation, said during the campaign that he is satisfied that Obama is indeed a natural-born American citizen.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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238 comments Add your comment

John

March 1st, 2011
12:53 pm

Tom Murphy must be rolling over in his grave when he sees the stupidity of today’s legislators.

Raquel Morris

March 1st, 2011
12:55 pm

What in the world is Glenn Baker’s problem? And he’s from Clayton County. Sounds like he needs a primary challenger!

Dunwoody Mom

March 1st, 2011
12:55 pm

Good Lord, these people are embarassing.

Bill

March 1st, 2011
12:56 pm

This is not about Obama, but the integrity of the system. We are a nation of rules and laws. No bona fide candidate should be worried about this legislation and the press should not make to much noise about it…unless, unless, they too fear the unspeakable about this President, our President, our Commander-in-Chief.

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:00 pm

How VERY…… desperate.

The despotic rulers of this one-party state (”Convert, Swine, or no committees for you in the state house!”) wish to impose their will on the rest of this nation by digging their heels into the birther muck. Um… HELLO? Since Georgia’s electoral votes go “R” anyway, this is grandstanding at best.

Worst case scenario: They pass this bill to prevent the non-Republi-fascist minority in Georgia from having an option on next year’s Presidential ballot, and rioting ensues that’ll make them wish we had the manners of oppressed Libyans and Wisconsin laborers.

Heck.. tell ‘em to GO for it! It’s been a few decades since we’ve seen any meaningful civil unrest around these parts. Maybe that’s just what we need! I’m in.

Mark Twain

March 1st, 2011
1:00 pm

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of the Georgia General Assembly. But I repeat myself.

Edward

March 1st, 2011
1:02 pm

I think the Union Army needs to invade Georgia and summarily deal with the traitors masquerading as Legislators. This embarrassment has gone on long enough.

Marti

March 1st, 2011
1:05 pm

Mark Twain – You said it all!

td

March 1st, 2011
1:05 pm

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:00 pm

All he has to do is show his birth certificate to get on the ballot. What is the big deal? Should not a candidate for President prove he/she is a natural born US citizen as required by the constitution?

Sounds like sound legislation to me. I think there are a couple of other states thinking about the same legislation.

Hazel

March 1st, 2011
1:05 pm

It’s all about the jobs!!

Is State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross a product of Georgia schools? Just asking.

Marti

March 1st, 2011
1:05 pm

You too, Edward!

Phil Lunney

March 1st, 2011
1:06 pm

Birthers and immigration but I can’t get a bottle of liquor or a 6 pack of beer on Sunday. How come these guys want to regulate the areas they don’t have any right or reason, but can’t handle their responsibilities. They put their vote on record where it doesn’t count and hide from the public when we want something.

td

March 1st, 2011
1:10 pm

I guess all you libs now have a year to move out of the state if you want to vote for your savior in 2012?

Lynn

March 1st, 2011
1:11 pm

We havent asked any other white male to show their birth certificate. This is just plain ingnorance.
Hawaii is a state last I checked. Obama’s mother was Kansas and he was born in Hawaii.
We need to spend our time and money or other important issues like block Racist Newt from being President. ( If you were around during the 80’s you would know) . While we are making rules lets enforce a no fraud, no ethics committee appearance for would be officials. Yeah I thought not. Half of the GOP wouldn’t be able to be apart of Government.

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:12 pm

td,

Don’t be a twit. You blather AS IF Hillary’s people would not have disproven his eligibility if that were even a possibility. You blather AS IF a black man with a funny name and an African father could have become President if he were not elible, and our conservotron-leaning Supreme Court would have done nothing to stop it. Cracker, please……

AudreyinGA

March 1st, 2011
1:17 pm

Enter your comments here

Steve

March 1st, 2011
1:21 pm

To all of you idiots who blindly and happily march to the polls and vote Republican every year, THANKS A LOT! Thanks for allowing our state to continue to turn into an Alabama or worse, a Mississippi while the rest of the nation moves ahead into the 21st century. Thank you for voting in spineless corporatists and theocratic lunatics who still force us to not buy alcohol on Sundays.

Thanks a lot. I think it’s time to move out of this God forsaken hell hole.

td

March 1st, 2011
1:22 pm

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:12 pm

Then why are you on your moral high horse today? Why is it such a big deal that a candidate for the office of President not have to prove that they are a natural born US citizen? Do you think there might be a chance that he is not? There is no question that he is a US citizen because his mom was the only question is if was born on US soil or not.

I have always thought that Obama was but was just not proving it to make the far right look bad. This is one of the few requirements in the constitution and the states oversee elections and it is there responsibility to make sure it the constitution is followed. I am a little upset that the all the states have not passed this law previous to now. This law should be a part of every state constitution since the founding of this nation.

AudreyinGA

March 1st, 2011
1:22 pm

I believe the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, and the Dept. of Homeland Security sufficiently checked the
birthplace of the president for legitimacy. So, the people do not believe the accuracy of the
above-mentioned agencies? The people at the dome must be on meth!!! Really?!?

DJ Sniper

March 1st, 2011
1:23 pm

TD, you really need to stop. Until Obama was elected, there has never been any issue with trying to prove that the President wasn’t a US citizen. Now that there’s a black man in office (and let’s not even try to pretend that his skin color isn’t a big reason behind this), people want to start this nonsense. The previous governor of Hawaii, who was a Republican, has certified that Obama is a US citizen, but that isn’t enough for these birther idiots.

Also, do you really think that the people behind the campaigns of everybody who ran for president in 2008 didn’t do their homework on this? If Obama wasn’t a US citizen, I’m quite sure they would have made sure the whole world was aware of it.

LMAO

March 1st, 2011
1:23 pm

The rumors are true — Georgia is run by MO-RONS. td is just retarded

td

March 1st, 2011
1:24 pm

Steve

March 1st, 2011
1:21 pm

“Thanks a lot. I think it’s time to move out of this God forsaken hell hole”

You are quiet welcome and grayhound departs on the hour. Is tomorrow to early?

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:25 pm

td,

Okay then, be a twit. It’s your right.

td

March 1st, 2011
1:26 pm

LMAO

March 1st, 2011
1:23 pm
The rumors are true — Georgia is run by MO-RONS. td is just retarded

Typical liberal. When you can not win an argument on the facts or at least an educated opinion resort to name calling. I guess we all know who is showing their intelligence and whom is not.

JP

March 1st, 2011
1:26 pm

I am going to lump ALL the legislators (DEM and REPUB) together.

These are the same guys that:

1) want to (or did) pass a law banning microchip placement in our bodies
2) want to ban Sharia law from taking place – even though that threat is non-existent in GA
3) won’t let the actual citizens decide for themselves about Sunday alcohol sales
4) want to say say women who are raped are called “the accuser” instead of the “victim”
5) want women who have miscarriages to prove they didn’t cause it themselves – if they did they could be tried for murder
6) want to allow motorcycles to run red lights – so motorcyclists don’t have to wait like everyone else
7) don’t want to penalize the DOT for polluting our waterways – even though they are major polluters
8) continually to allow the PSC to let GA Power raise rates whenever and to whatever levels they want

Meanwhile, the roads in GA get worse each year, our students struggle even more, and the taxpayers keep getting jobbed.

I’ll admit, I voted DEM last time around. Next time I am going either Tea Party, Independent, or Libertarian

fergie

March 1st, 2011
1:27 pm

This about the most ignorant thing I have ever heard of. Why don’t you admit to yourselves that you are racist to the core? Nobody else has ever had to do this.

Terri

March 1st, 2011
1:28 pm

WOW!!!! Are the Georgia Repub really wasting time with this. Seriously there is a deep seed hatred for blacks and when President Obama got elected, it surfaced to the top.. Thank you for wasting are taxpayers time and money…This is what we want in office..Child Please!!!

td

March 1st, 2011
1:28 pm

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:25 pm

What’s wrong? You know in your heart that this should be the law of the land and your blind liberal heart just can not come out and say what is right.

Ralph

March 1st, 2011
1:29 pm

Really? These birthers and others amaze me. Do they honestly believe that the American government, plus the Federal Election commission would not check eligibility to hold office of president before authorizing campaign funds and ballots? These people are doing anything to discredit that they do not like the fact that a african american-biracial man is president. I would think that these idiots, and yes they are, because they cannot see past their own stupidity, would focus as much effort into doing something worthwhile for their society.

HenryGrady

March 1st, 2011
1:31 pm

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. There is absolutely nothing to be gained here. Nothing. This isn’t bravery or principle, it is parlor tricks designed to soothe the masses like “TD” and “Bill” who want to believe that Obama isn’t an American.

Here is my question…what happens for these voters if/when Obama does produce the document? My bet is that they will still find a reason not to trust it. Oh…and the legislators that made this bill will look like bigger idiots. Hopefully the non-deluded will vote them out for wasting time on this bill when there are vital issues to be taken care of…

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:33 pm

td,

What’s wrong? You know in your heart that it’s already the law of the land to prove eligibility before getting on the ballot, and that the President’s eligibility was certified, and your blind backwoods hatred just can not come out and say what is right.

gm

March 1st, 2011
1:36 pm

And you wonder why people around the world think Georiga have a bunch of hicks here and sleep with their cousins.
These are the type of people you idiots put in office, President Obama, tell these stupid hicks in Georgia that you played football or basketball here and they will leave you along.

khc

March 1st, 2011
1:36 pm

how bout a bill that calls for an iq above room temperature for are legislators

Sen. Cletus Q. Beauregard (R-Deliverance County)

March 1st, 2011
1:37 pm

i tell u whut, this be da best lawmakin i ever saws outta da state of jawjuh. next thing we gotta do is ban atlanta frum havin marta and our tax dollas and somesuch. and ban alkeyhol sales on sattiday too.

i’s all semblunce and sorta proud of this hear state.

GaBlue

March 1st, 2011
1:37 pm

Like I said:

I DARE THEM TO PASS THIS BILL and keep a sitting President OFF the ballot in Georgia next year. My job is boring, my kids can [mostly] fend for themselves now. I’ll make the time for the civil uprising that ensues. It’ll be FUN! It’s not like this state can sink much farther into corrupt & stupid anyway. Sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can find your way back up. Hallelujah! Can I get an AMEN?

pn

March 1st, 2011
1:38 pm

Ignore the fact that the GA unemployment rate is 10.2%
Ignore the fact that the GA legislature is throwing out every red herring it can dredge up to keep us from focusing on the above, and their utter lack of success in reducing unemployment and/or making GA a desirable location for 21st Century enterprise.
Backwoods, backwater, dead-ended third world banana republic, with an undereducated, unemployable, clueless electorate, That’s their goal for the state. And they are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams.

DJ Sniper

March 1st, 2011
1:38 pm

LOL@ GM’s last post! You know, all Obama needs is to show up for an event wearing a UGA shirt and people would probably forget all about asking for the birth certificate.

td

March 1st, 2011
1:39 pm

HenryGrady

March 1st, 2011
1:31 pm

I guess you have a hard time reading my post on the subject? I know Obama is a US citizen (his mother is), the only question is if he was born on US soil. I am sure he will produce a certified birth certificate now and the question will be over and then this country will still have the law in place for future contest to make sure only natural born US citizens qualify.

BTW: The FEC has no rule to check this stuff that is a state responsibility under the constitution.

AudreyinGA

March 1st, 2011
1:41 pm

President Barack Obama!!!! Galloway left the title off.

Aquagirl

March 1st, 2011
1:41 pm

Time for this question again:

Why are people like td happy that Georgia is so bat$#!^ crazy, sane people want to leave or stay away? When Cynthia McKinney was slapping cops and babbling her insane conspiracy theories, I found it beyond embarrassing. When somebody from out of State tries to buy beer (horrors!) on Sunday and realizes they can’t, unless they drive down the road to a bar, it’s not a point of pride for me. And when half the General Assembly rides the birfer idiot wave, I don’t cheer because they fart in the general direction of Hawaii, which has categorically stated Obama was born there.

But td, bless his heart, preens and cackles “don’t let the door hit you, or your tax dollars, or money you’d spend in our businesses, or investment dollars, or your fancypants common sense on the way out! HAW-HAW-HAW!”

Boduk

March 1st, 2011
1:42 pm

OK Tea Partiers/Republicans you want to talk about out of control spending. This is a bill that is a waste of taxpayer time and money. Should there be a lot more effort towards creating jobs in Georgia and getting our economy turned around. The Georgia Assemble should be ashamed of themselves.

td

March 1st, 2011
1:43 pm

khc

March 1st, 2011
1:36 pm
how bout a bill that calls for an iq above room temperature for are legislators

I will back your idea if we can also pass a law that anyone that wants to vote must pass the same test on the US history and government that people do before becoming a US citizen?

Real Republicans are Hurting

March 1st, 2011
1:44 pm

To the GOPers in GA…how about a jobs bill..this is going no where. DO YOUR JOBS…STOP THE FAKE BILLS …REAL GEORGIAN ARE HURTING! ENOUGH ALREADY. STOP TRYING TO HURT OUR PRESIDENT. HAVE SOME RESPECT. AFTERALL, YES HE WAS ELECTED BY A LARGE MARGIN. STOP THE GAMES

Butler

March 1st, 2011
1:45 pm

Sadly, Hatfield, and all the others of his ilk continue to re-enforce all the negatives that exist in GA. Low educational achievement, high drop out rates, and inbred political corruption, are totally acceptable to most residents. Their only response to dissenters is “get on the Greyhound bus and leave.” What deep thinkers! They just can’t stand the thought of a black man being a whole lot more successful and respected then they could ever dream. How very sad.

Aquagirl

March 1st, 2011
1:48 pm

And doesn’t the guy behind Hatfield in that photo look like he’s picking his nose? Georgians, there’s your General Assembly in action. How appropriate.

fergie

March 1st, 2011
1:48 pm

White people can be real ignorant when they feel threatened.

E-Roll

March 1st, 2011
1:48 pm

The big problems with this proposed law is:

“What’s more, even if the Georgia secretary of state certifies a candidate as native born, HB 401 would give any registered voter a two-week window to challenge the candidate’s bona fides.”

Any crackpot in Georgia can challenge which will happen in droves for ALL candidates which will require untold of manhours to investigate these crazy claims.

“Furthermore, the bill would make it a “misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature” for any Georgia member of the electoral college to cast a vote for the candidate.”

So you are going to tell a member of the Georgia electoral college who they can and can not vote for? A voter in the electoral college can vote for whoever is on the certified ballot that comes from the Secretary of State office.

Jeff Guthrie

March 1st, 2011
1:48 pm

The fact of Obama’s birth in Hawaii has been proven time and again. Requiring the “long-form birth certificate” assumes that every state operated in the same way to document births, and that all of those records are still available. Why Georgia would need a higher standard than the U.S. Passport Office is a mystery to me.
However, what’s never addressed is the fact that Obama would be a natural born citizen even IF he were born in Kenya, or Venus for that matter. Obama’s mother was a U.S. citizen. The principle of “jus sanguinis” (right of blood) confers citizenship on those born to at least one U.S. citizen anywhere in the world. This issue could have been shut down by the media pointing out this obvious fact long ago.
@Bill–it is obviously about Obama. No one worried about John McCain being born in Panama. Nor were any Georgians concerned about the previous 43 Presidents. Clearly the idea that someone might have a diverse background or have lived abroad at anytime in their lives offends the bigoted sensibilities of many Georgians.
@TD–he already showed his birth certificate. If the copy he showed is valid to get a passport, it is surely valid to get on the Georgia ballot.

Real Republicans are Hurting

March 1st, 2011
1:49 pm

REPUBLI-CONS Where are the JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS.

Ralph

March 1st, 2011
1:49 pm

Let’s break it down for the birthers, who claim he was born in Kenya, it still does not matter: Even if he was born in Kenya the constitution states:

Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
Obama’s mother born in Kansas, in 1942 lived in the USA and Hawaii so she is a US citizen who lived in USA for way more than 5 years.

Obama’s father, not a citizen, alien.

So even if you believe he was born in Kenya, his mother was a US citizen who lived in USA for at least 5 years, so he is a natural citizen, regardless of born in USA or wherever. End of discussion.