Emerging Tech

White House Makes It Easier to Sign We the People Petitions

White House

It’s no longer necessary to create an account before signing a digital petition through the White House’s We the People website.

Officials on Wednesday removed the obstacle to participation.

“As of today, just enter your basic information, confirm your signature via email and you're done. That's it,” Ezra Mechaber, deputy director of email and petitions in the White House Office of Digital Strategy, said in a blog post.

To start a new petition, however, an account was still necessary Thursday.

At the time of the White House blog post, the We the People petition site, which launched in September 2011, had allowed a total of 14,445,483 users to leave 21,208,054 signatures on 349,144 petitions.

The White House had responded to 225 of the petitions that achieved the signature threshold, including a recent one requesting the deportation of Canadian-born pop star Justin Bieber. The threshold for a response initially was 5,000 signatures in 30 days but has been raised twice and now stands at 100,000 signatures.

The Obama administration cited the First Amendment right to petition the government when it launched the We the People site. “The idea of petitioning the White House or the government isn’t new, but this online platform is,” the site says.

As of January, 30 petitions that achieved the signature threshold were still waiting on a response from the White House, with many of them waiting for more than a year. Ninety-one responses have been posted since.

GovChart
Courtesy the White House

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