JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Missouri’s state House approved a Republican “birther” bill, which would require candidates for president or vice-president to show a birth certificate to prove U.S. citizenship before appearing on a Missouri ballot.
Rep. Lyle Rowland, R-Cedarcreek, sponsored the bill. He claims candidates are not being fully vetted on whether they qualify for office.
Verifying evidence would be a copy of a candidate’s birth certificate. The bill now moves to the Senate.
Supporters claim the bill is not directed at President Barack Obama.
Democrats says they doubt it.
“We all know that this is a continuation of a long-ago discredited lie,” Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
If the state Senate approves the bill it will be sent to Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.
If Nixon signs it, Missouri would be the first state to require such documentation, which would be in effect for the 2016 election.
Last year, Arizona lawmakers passed a similar bill that was vetoed by the governor.