Petitions from all 50 states have popped up on the White House website asking to secede from the U.S. after President Barack Obama won a second term in office — and the Obama administration will have to respond to at least one.
A petition about the state of Texas — 102,941 signatures at the moment — has far surpassed the 25,000-signature threshold that is supposed to get a response from the White House.
There’s one from California, too (12,073 signatures), though it hasn’t met that threshold for a response yet.
Only a few of the 148 petitions that appear on the site have nothing to do with breaking off from the U.S. Among them:
- Legalize marijuana at the federal level (14,510 signatures)
- Help a sports radio host get back on the radio in Ohio (283 signatures)
- Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group (2,779 signatures)
- Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (11,121 signatures)
The petitions are part of “We the People,” a section of the White House website that allows people to post open petitions.
After its September 2011 launch, the site saw 8,000 petitions and 600,000 signatures. It generated 3.4 million signatures in its first year. Deputy Director of Online Engagement Erin Lindsay wrote:
From the beginning we’ve said that if a petition gathers enough online signatures, policy officials here at the White House and across the Administration will review it and issue an official response. In this first year we’ve had 116 petitions cross the threshold and 103 have already received a response. And, despite the fact that only a small percentage of the over 50,000 petitions have crossed the signature threshold, you’d probably be surprised to hear that 1.1 million people or 39% of users have received a response.