HONOLULU, HI - The state of Hawaii has verified President Barack Obama's birth records to Arizona's elections chief after a nearly three-month back and forth that Arizona officials said could have ended without the incumbent's name on its November ballot.
Joshua Wisch, special assistant to Hawaii Attorney General David Louie, told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the matter is resolved after Hawaii gave Arizona the verification it was looking for.
Hawaii -- which has vouched for Obama's birth in the state several times -- didn't bow to the request easily. The Aloha State told Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett to prove he needed the records as part of normal business.
Wisch says Hawaii got what it needed, so it gave Bennett's office the verification.
Bennett apologized if he offended or embarrassed anyone in the state for asking Hawaii for verification of President Obama's birth certificate.
He told ABC15 News that he did indeed receive confirmation from Hawaii verifying the President's U.S. citizenship.
"I certainly did not mean to embarrass or offend anyone." Secretary Bennett said Tuesday night before speaking at a Chinese Chamber of Commerce event in downtown Phoenix.
When asked if it was a conflict of interest since he is supporting the Mitt Romney campaign, Bennett said his job has nothing to do with his personal feelings on candidates.
"I don't think it's what the Romney campaign wants to be talking about, so I didn't do them any favors, nor was I trying to do favors for anyone."
Bennett says more than 1,000 Arizona residents contacted his office asking about the President's birth certificate and that as the top election official in the state, he was simply trying to ease their concerns.
Bennett says he always believed President Obama was a U.S. citizen and said that if enough Arizonans ask, he will check on Mitt Romney's birth certificate too.
He issued the following statement Wednesday:
Late yesterday, our office received the 'verification in-lieu of certified copy' from officials within the Hawaii Department of Health that we requested in March. They have officially confirmed that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for the President matches the original record in their files.
As Arizona’s chief elections officer, I have the responsibility to certify the ballot to the state’s 15 counties. At the request of numerous constituents, I merely asked Hawaiian officials to verify the information contained within President Obama’s original birth certificate. They have complied with the request and I consider the matter closed.
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