Politics & Government

Texas church used as polling place posts sign questioning Obama's citizenship

Democrats and Republicans are divided over what to do about Maplewood Baptist Fellowship.

The North Richland Hills church has operated as a polling place for over 15 years but has recently drawn attention for a sign questioning President Barack Obama's citizenship.

Pastor Gary Hopkins said he put up the message "Where's the Birth Certificate?" on his church's sign about two months ago. He changed the message last week.

"I put it up to get people to ask questions, just to provoke thoughts and that's pretty much it," Hopkins said. "I do know there are a lot of people asking that question, and my understanding is that question has not been answered."

Local Democrats first noticed the sign last month. The Tarrant County Democratic Party posted a photo of the sign on its Web site with the message: "Do you feel comfortable with this being a polling location?"

Tarrant County Elections Administrator Steve Raborn said he was sent the photo of the sign and contacted Hopkins about it. Raborn said the church can remain a polling place as long as it does not post any political messages during elections.

"We have other polling places at non-election times that have political activities," Raborn said.

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