Secretary of state confirms Obama’s primary ballot eligibility
6:09 pm, February 7th, 2012
Georgia’s secretary of state ruled Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s name will appear on the state’s Democratic primary ballot.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, followed last week’s recommendation to him by Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings Deputy Chief Judge Michael M. Malihi, who rejected arguments from so-called “birthers” that Obama is ineligible to run for president.
“I find that the respondent, President Barack Obama, meets the state of Georgia’s eligibility requirements,” Kemp said in a statement.
A group of Georgia voters had contested Obama’s qualifications, saying he didn’t qualify as a natural born citizen as required by the U.S. Constitution.
Some plaintiffs argued to Malihi during a Jan. 27 hearing that Obama’s birth documents were forgeries and his Social Security number was fraudulently obtained. Other plaintiffs said Obama didn’t qualify as “natural born” because only one of his parents was a U.S. citizen. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Kansas, and his father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in Kenya, which plaintiffs say made him a British citizen.
Malihi ruled for Obama on Friday, saying people born within the borders of the United States qualify as natural born citizens, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.
Malihi’s decision was only a recommendation to the secretary of state, according to state law.
Kemp’s statement called his action the “final decision” in the eligibility case.