Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2011

Sen. Ralph Shortey
Sen. Ralph Shortey

Senate approves amendment requiring proof of citizenship for presidential primary candidates

Sen. Ralph Shortey on Monday successfully amended a measure to require that presidential primary candidates provide proof of natural-born United States citizenship upon filing with the state election board.

Shortey added the provision to Senate Bill 91, which would require candidates for public office to provide photo ID and proof of eligibility to hold office.

“My goal in advancing this amendment is to ensure all presidential candidates adhere to our constitutional requirements for eligibility,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City. “Approval of this proposal would not unnecessarily complicate the filing process. This is a simple requirement to secure our election process and make it less likely that abuses occur in the system.”

As proof of natural-born citizenship, presidential primary candidates could provide an original birth certificate issued by a state; an original birth certificate issued by the federal government; an original United States Certificate of Birth Abroad; or an original Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States. Shortey noted that copies of these documents would be made by the State Election Board and kept available for public inspection pursuant to the Open Records Act.

“I’m pleased to have the support of my colleagues on this provision, and I look forward to its approval in the House,” Shortey said.

For more information contact:

Sen. Shortey: (405) 521-5557

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