Thursday, March 03, 2011

Breaking News: Many states move forward on eligibility issue

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A long list of state lawmakers are marching forward on a number of legislative fronts to ensure candidates for president on their election ballots are eligible to hold the office.

But state Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Ga., is taking it one step further with his proposed eligibility requirement – making it illegal for an elector to cast a ballot for an unapproved candidate.

The state's Presidential Eligibility Assurance Act would specify, "It is unlawful for any presidential elector from this state to cast his or her electoral college vote for a candidate who is not approved by the Secretary of State as having submitted adequate evidence of eligibility. Any person who violates this Code section shall upon conviction be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."

WND has reported on the state-level efforts to ensure that candidates for the Oval Office meet the requirements established in the U.S. Constitution: a resident for 14 years, at least 35 years of age and a "natural born Citizen."

At least 11 states have seen such requirements introduced in the current state legislative sessions, and in 10 of those states the plans still are alive. A committee vote in Montana tabled a proposal there.

Hatfield told WND that his new bill is similar to the plan he proposed at the end of last year's session but which was not submitted in time to advance. It, like many in other states, calls for assurances that "no person shall be eligible for placement on any ballot as a candidate for president or vice president unless the secretary of state shall have received and approved adequate evidence of such person's eligibility for election to such office."

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