In May, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R) dabbled in the "birther" conspiracy theory and publicly questioned whether he'd allow President Obama to appear on the statewide ballot. Soon after, a chastened Bennett—who oversees Arizona elections despite his role as the state co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign—backed down.
I assumed at the time we wouldn't hear much more about unhinged Republican activists trying to keep the president off the ballot. I assumed wrong.
Kansas election officials said Thursday that they want more information before deciding whether to remove President Obama from the state's November ballot.
The all-Republican State Objections Board heard arguments Thursday on a claim from a Manhattan resident that Obama is not eligible to be president because his father was from Kenya. The resident, Joe Montgomery, also questions whether Obama has a valid birth certificate. [...]
The Kansas board is led by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an ardent voter-ID proponent who during his successful 2010 campaign once suggested Obama should produce his long-form birth certificate.
Yes, we're talking about that Kris Kobach. The top elections official for the state of Kansas is also a far-right anti-immigration activist who serves as an adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign.
Any chance Kobach would be responsible enough to simply ignore the strange conspiracy theorist and dismiss this nonsense? Of course not. Kobach responded yesterday, "I don't think it's a frivolous objection. I do think the factual record could be supplemented."
The factual record already includes incontrovertible proof that the conspiracy theory is insane, making this practically the definition of a "frivolous objection." But Kobach is nevertheless asking for additional certified documents from Hawaii.
The state elections board is scheduled to meet again on Monday, and may rule on this garbage then. The Romney campaign has not yet commented publicly on the story.