Last week, Bennett told KFYI that he had been trying unsuccessfully to get elections officials in Hawaii to verify the president's birth certificate. The president was born in Hawaii in 1961, but some have suggested the president's birth certificate might not be authentic.

"I'm not a birther. I believe the president was born in Hawaii — or at least I hope he was. But my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure the ballots in Arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballot have met the qualifications for the office they are seeking," Bennett said last Friday.

The "birther" issue has been especially potent in Arizona, where controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is accused of spending taxpayer money to send a sheriff's deputy to Hawaii to aid an investigation into the president's birth.

In a news conference in March, Arpaio said there could be evidence the president's birth certificated was a computer-manipulated "forgery." He went on to defend his decision to dispatch his deputy to Honolulu.

"It's one deputy, so what? We have security issues, too, that I can't get into," Arpaio told the Arizona Republic last week.

"For this trip I feel it's important to have a deputy there. He's just a liaison to give advice if needed. He's not doing anything. The posse's been doing the research. I'm not going to say what other trips they've been taking but they haven't had a deputy with them," the sheriff added.