The White House is raising the signature threshold on the administration’s online petition site, “We the People,” in order to give “the most popular ideas the time they deserve,” said White House Director of New Media said Macon Phillips.
In a post on the White House blog, Phillips said the threshold will increase from 25,000 signatures in 30 days to 100,000 signatures in the same time frame to get an official response from the White House.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people using We the People to add their voices to important policy debates here in Washington and bring attention to issues that might not get the attention they deserve,” Phillips said.
This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.
This is the second time the White House has raised the signature threshold. Users originally needed 5,000 signatures for a response, but that was raised to 25,000 quickly after the site’s launch in September 2011.
According to Phillips, in the last two months of 2012, use of We the People more than doubled as roughly 2.4 million new users joined the system, 73,000 petitions were created and 4.9 million signatures were registered.
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 9 days.