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‘Birthers’ fade after Hawaii law passed

SUNDAY, AUG. 8, 2010

HONOLULU – The persistent quest for President Barack Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate has died down since the state passed a law allowing it to ignore repetitive requests for the document.

Far fewer “birthers,” who claim Obama is ineligible to be president, have asked state officials to provide the document since the law was enacted in May, according to the state.

The law has never even been put to use, said Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo. The number of people seeking proof that Obama was born outside of Hawaii and the United States diminished without the law being invoked.

Only about two or three e-mails now seek verification of Obama’s birth each week, compared to between 10 and 20 weekly requests earlier this year.

“We have a handful of repeat requesters, but they know about the law,” Okubo said. “They do everything they can to get around it.”

Such tactics include having a relative or friend make the document request, she said.

Hawaii law has long barred the release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest.

State Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued statements last year and in October 2008 saying that she’s seen and verified Obama’s original vital records. Obama celebrated his 49th birthday on Wednesday.

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