Is Philadelphia about to endure its own birther controversy?

Three different birth dates have surfaced for the Republican mayoral candidate, Karen Brown.

For the last four months, Brown has usually been described in news stories as 49 years old - based on the June 9, 1961, birth date listed in the city's current voter-registration records.

In a brief interview last week with The Inquirer, Brown said the date was wrong, that she was actually born on June 9, 1960 - making her 50 years old right now.

Brown said she knew the voter-registration data was incorrect, but had not fixed it. "People make mistakes when they type things up," she said last week.

That did not sit well with officials at the city Board of Elections. They looked up Brown's voter-registration records Tuesday and found two separate applications, both signed by Brown and affirming that the contents were true.

A 2007 application, reflecting a married name, listed her birth date as June 9, 1959. Another application last January, changing her name back to Karen Brown, listed her birth date as June 9, 1961.

Brown acknowledged to a reporter Tuesday that she had signed both documents but said that someone else had filled them out and she paid no attention to the details. She offered no explanation for the origin of the mistaken dates but speculated it might have occurred because of a clerical error. "I can't say that as a fact," Brown said.

"Does this have anything to do with my candidacy?" Brown told a reporter who asked about the discrepancies. "I'm not going to comment. . . . Print whatever you like, I'll be whatever age you want me to be."

Contact Inquirer staff writer Bob Warner at 215-854-2611 or warnerb@phillynews.com.