Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett says he will keep President Barack Obama off of the 2012 ballot for president if Hawaii does not confirm existence of Obama’s long-form birth certificate. The White House released the document last year and yet Bennett claims it was the pressure of 1,200 Arizonians who emailed him with concern about the president’s eligibility and authenticity of his birth certificate that drove him to this decision. The Huffington Post reports:

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett made moves to appease birthers in his state this week, petitioning the state of Hawaii to confirm the existence of President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate, which the White House released last year.

In a radio interview with KFYI’s Mike Broomhead, Bennett said he would consider keeping the president off the ballot if the state failed to answer his request. Bennett, who is preparing for a gubernatorial run in 2014, also denied being a birther himself, and said that his action was not a move to gain favor with fringe elements in Arizona. He claimed it was a standard response to pressure from over 1,200 Arizonans who had emailed him with concerns about the president’s eligibility and the authenticity of his birth certificate.

“I’m not a birther. I believe the president was born in Hawaii — or at least I hope he was,” Bennett told Broomhead. “But my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure that the ballots in Arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballot have met the qualifications for the office they are seeking.”

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