Commissioners questioned about birth certificates

Typically during public comment at the Board of Clark County Commissioners meetings, a person introduces himself and says either his address or the city or area of unincorporated Clark County where he lives.

On Tuesday, one gentleman spoke in broader terms.

“My name is Jeff Stanton, and I’m a citizen of the United States,” he said. In April 2011, President Barack Obama released his birth certificate, Stanton said.

“You are the legislative body of Clark County,” Stanton said to Chairman Marc Boldt and Commissioner Tom Mielke (Commissioner Steve Stuart was absent.)

“Have you submitted, anywhere in the official records, your birth certificate, showing you are a U.S. citizen or a naturalized citizen?” Stanton asked the commissioners.

Stanton then showed a copy of his birth certificate.


Stanton also had his voter registration card, which he noted says on the back that it’s not proof of U.S. citizenship.

Stanton asked if commissioners have verified that every candidate and every voter is a U.S. citizen. He went on about the Constitution and ran over his time limit, so Boldt asked him to please summarize.

Stanton said the Constitution guarantees him the right to vote at a polling place, and said he desires to do so (Clark County uses all-mail balloting, although you can fill out your ballot in a booth at the county elections office.)

After Boldt thanked him for his comments, Stanton persisted.

“In your opinion, do I have a legitimate question?” he asked.

Mielke told Stanton to talk to Auditor Greg Kimsey, who is responsible for making sure election rules are followed.

“But you are the ones we elected,” said Stanton, perhaps unaware that Kimsey is the elected official in charge of elections.

After the meeting, Kimsey said candidates do not need to show a birth certificate when registering to run. They do have to be a registered voter, and when you register to vote you sign a pledge promising you are a citizen and at least 18 years old, Kimsey said.

Kimsey said if people have specific information about possibly fraudulent voters, they should contact his office and follow a process for challenging the validity of a voter.

As for mail balloting, Kimsey said, “I’m not aware of anything in the Constitution that says ballots must be cast at a polling place.”

He said courts have upheld the use of absentee ballots and the practice of allowing people to vote prior to the date of the election.

Ballots will be mailed Oct. 15 for the Nov. 6 election.

As for the birthplaces of the commissioners, Boldt was born in Vancouver, Mielke was born in Spokane, where he grew up, and Stuart was born in Corning, Calif., and his family moved to Ridgefield when he was 1.

Kimsey was born in Vancouver.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that very few instances of voter fraud have been found. And today, there’s this story about the Republican National Committee firing a consulting firm that it had hired to register voters in the wake of allegations the firm was attempting to commit voter fraud.

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at or 360-735-4508.

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