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Monday, September 17, 2012

Kansas Board Officially Puts End to Obama Ballot Challenge


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A challenge to President Obama's eligibility to appear on the Kansas ballot officially ended on Monday after a state board adjourned without ruling because the objection had been withdrawn last week.

The challenge was filed by a resident of Manhattan, Kan., raising long-running conspiracy theories that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. But the resident, Joe Montgomery, the communications director for the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, withdrew his objection on Friday because, he said, he was subjected to a storm of criticism.

Despite the withdrawal, the State Objections Board, which decides whether a candidate is eligible to appear on the ballo t, met on Monday to close the matter officially. After accepting a certified birth certificate from Hawaii that confirms that Mr. Obama was born there in 1961, the board ended its session.

“There was some discussion by an attorney pressing for further investigation of the birth status of President Obama,” Brad Bryant, the Kansas election director, wrote in an e-mail. “But the board ruled that it lacked authority to carry the issue further.”

Mr. Montgomery's petition, if only momentarily, flared up the highly emotional “birther” controversy. Although birthers are widely viewed as fringe forces, the Obama administration forcefully pushed back last year, with it releasing his long-form birth certificate and the president saying the nation's problems would not be solved if we got “distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”