Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett received proof of Obama's Hawaiian birth in 2012

Posted at 7:40 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 22:40:46-04

You can't just call Hawaii and get President Barack Obama's original birth certificate, so Arizona's top election official says got the next best thing in 2012 during the height of interest in the matter.

Then-Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett says he never released the document he received to the public until now, in part because no one asked.

Donald Trump sparked renewed interest in the matter Friday when he announced that, after five years questioning where President Obama was born, he reversed his position and said the president was born in the United States.

The Verification of Birth Bennett received was signed by Hawaii's State Registrar Alvin Onaka on May 22, 2012.  The document verified day, time and place of the president's birth. It also says that the widely-circulated copy of Obama's Certificate of Live Birth matches the original records in state files. To read the full document Hawaii sent Bennett, click here.

Arizona lawmakers tried to pass "birther" bills in 2011 and 2012. Bennett says he got the idea to request the verification from one of the hundreds of Arizonans demanding more proof to justify Obama was a natural born citizen, and thus met the Constitution’s requirement for the presidency.

"If people's minds were made up about that, it wasn't going to change," Bennett said. "I did the thing that I thought sounded reasonable, which is [to] contact the other government officials in Hawaii who kept those records and asked them government official to government official, ‘Do you have a birth certificate for Barack Obama?’"

Bennett said he had to fill out a standard form and mail in 5 dollars to get the verification. He says, to his knowledge, no other state requested the documentation.