Petitioning the White House is a Popular Affair

By on January 16, 2013 in Current Events with 13 Comments

News broke yesterday that the White House has quadrupled the minimum number of required signatures for a response on its “We the People” petition web site from 25,000 to 100,000.

White House Directory of Digital Strategy Macon Phillips attributed the change to the massive growth in use and popularity of the petition web site.

Phillips wrote:

In the last two months of 2012, use of We the People more than doubled. In just that time roughly 2.4 million new users joined the system, 73,000 petitions were created and 4.9 million signatures were registered.

As we’ve seen overall use skyrocket, more petitions are crossing the threshold — and doing so much more quickly.

In the first 10 months of 2012, it took an average of 18 days for a new petition to cross the 25,000-signature threshold. In the last two months of the year, that average time was cut in half to just 9 days, and most petitions that crossed the threshold collected 25,000 signatures within five days of their creation. More than 60 percent of the petitions to cross threshold in all of 2012 did so in the last two months of the year.

The news came at a time after a number of controversial petitions critical of the administration and its policies were posted and generated hundreds of thousands of signatures. Some of these included states requesting to secede from the union or repealing ObamaCare.

Perhaps some good news for federal employees is that the bump in required signatures came after the petition requesting that federal workers be given an extra paid holiday for Christmas Eve was circulated. That petition did exceed the then-required minimum 25,000 signatures and may have been a factor in helping the federal workforce earn the extra holiday.

Not everybody is happy about the increase in required signatures. In fact, a petition has been started to bring the required number of signatures back down to 25,000, although ironically since it was just created, it will have to get 100,000 signatures in order for it to receive a response from the White House.

The White House also released the below factoid about the growth in use and popularity of the petition web site.

Factoid of White House petition web site use and popularity

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

Tags:

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

Top