Oh Dear

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

It is going to be a long presidential primary

CONCORD, N.H. — Presidential candidates who want to be on New Hampshire’s primary ballot next year may have to produce a birth certificate under a proposal being brought before a state House committee.

Election Law Chairman David Bates said his committee will consider a bill Wednesday to require candidates to provide a birth certificate and affidavit swearing they are at least 35 years old and have lived in the United States for 14 years, as called for in the U.S. Constitution to qualify for the presidency.

“They need to produce a certified copy of the long form of their birth certificate and an affidavit swearing to residency,” the Windham Republican said Tuesday.

New Hampshire holds the earliest presidential primaries and takes pride that its voters help launch contenders toward the White House.

Bates said the purpose of the bill is to ensure that only those truly qualified for the presidency are on the ballot. He emphasized that the measure was not aimed at President Barack Obama, and said he may seek to make the bill effective in 2013 after the next election. If New Hampshire sought to make the requirement effective immediately, “then we’ll have a circus,” he predicted.

Here is our editorial from way back, by the way, on the current president and his birth certificate.