Lost in the renewed scrutiny into President Obama's birth records is the fact that anyone can walk into a Hawaii vital records office, wait in line behind couples getting marriage licenses and open a baby-blue government binder containing basic information about his birth.
Highlighted in yellow on page 1,218 of the thick binder is the computer-generated listing for a boy named Barack Hussein Obama II born in Hawaii, surrounded by the alphabetized last names of all other children born in-state between 1960 and 1964. This is the only government birth information, called "index data," available to the public.
So far this month, only the Associated Press and one other person had looked at the binder, according to a sign-in sheet viewed Wednesday in the state Department of Health building. The sheet showed about 25 names of people who have seen the document since March 2010, when the sign-in sheet begins.
Those documents complement newspaper birth announcements published soon after Obama's Aug. 4, 1961, birth and a "certification of live birth" released by the Obama campaign three years ago, the only type of birth certificate the state issues.
So-called "birthers" claim there's no proof Obama was born in the United States, and that he is therefore ineligible to be president. Many of the skeptics suggest he was actually born in Kenya, his father's home country, or Indonesia where he spent a few years of his childhood.
Possible Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly stoked the birther fires recently, and last month called on Obama to "show his birth certificate." Trump said he has investigators in Hawaii searching for more information.
What the would-be sleuths won't find is Obama's "long-form birth certificate," a confidential one-page document containing his original birth records kept on file in the first floor of the Department of Health.
Those original birth records typically include additional birth details, such as the hospital and delivering doctor, said Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the state's former health director who twice looked at and publicly confirmed Obama's original long-form birth records.
But those documents are state government property that can't be released to anyone, even the president himself, said Joshua Wisch, special assistant to the state attorney general. Obama would be able to inspect his birth records if he visited the Health Department, but original records of live birth are never released, he said.