May 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM HST - Updated June 26 at 11:16 PM
By PAUL DAVENPORT Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - The attorney general's office in Hawaii is telling Arizona's secretary of state that if he wants confirmation of President Barack Obama's birth records, he'll have to prove he legitimately needs it.
Special Assistant Joshua Wisch said late Friday that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett hasn't done that despite numerous email and phone exchanges between their offices.
Wisch says Hawaii state laws require Bennett to show legal authority that this office needs the records to update its official lists as part of its ordinary work.
Wisch says as soon as Bennett gives Hawaii adequate authority, the Aloha State will verify Obama's birth.
Bennett said in a radio interview this week that Obama's status on Arizona's ballot is in question unless Hawaii verifies his birthplace.
Hawaii officials have confirmed multiple times that Obama was born there.
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Complete Statement from Joshua A. Wisch Special Assistant to the Attorney General State of Hawaii:
On April 27, 2011, the State of Hawaii issued a press release explaining that the Hawaii Department of Health had granted President Obama's request for a certified copy of his "long form" birth certificate. That press release and accompanying documentation, as well as documentation affirming that both former Director of Health Chiyome Fukino and Director of Health Loretta Fuddy have personally viewed the birth certificate, have been consistently available on the Department of Health's.
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett contacted the State of Hawaii in March 2012 asking for confirmation that President Obama was born in Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of the Attorney General (the "Department") spoke with Secretary Bennett and provided him with all publicly available information, including a link to the above-noted website. The Department explained that if Secretary Bennett wanted information beyond what is publicly available, then, pursuant to section 338-18(g)(2), Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Secretary Bennett would need to provide legal authority showing that his office is "a governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency's or organization's activities."
Once Mr. Bennett can show this, he will be provided the "verification in lieu of a certified copy," under section 338-14.3, HRS. Since March, the Department has engaged in numerous telephone and email conversations with Secretary Bennett's office to respond to his request, but his office has so far failed to provide the adequate authority. As soon as Secretary Bennett's office provides adequate legal authority, it will receive the verification. The State of Hawaii would like to be responsive to all legitimate requests for information, but to do so we must comply with Hawaii law governing the protection of our vital records.