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White House now makes it even easier to petition the government

The updated site makes it easier to create and sign petitions.

White House

Millions of people have petitioned the White House for answers about the Syrian refugee crisis or the Iranian nuclear deal (and even proposed building a “Star Wars”-inspired Death Star) through a site called We the People.

White House

Now the popular petition site (it has received some 446,435 petitions and nearly 33 million signatures since 2011) is getting an update to make it easier to create and sign petitions from any screen — including mobile devices, according to White House Chief Digital Officer Jason Goldman.

“That’s the first goal,” Goldman said. “Making it easier for anybody to use.”

The site will also be improved to help people figure out if their petition even qualifies for federal consideration. “Often we get a petition where there’s some local issue or state issue [the petitioner] wants looked into,” Goldman said. “Because of the Bill of Rights, we can’t do that.”

Goldman has a much longer explanation of the changes here, in which he namechecks a few interesting folks for their feedback, like writer/programmer Paul Ford.

With the update, those who create a petition will choose among five different types of petitions — each one that speaks to the actions the federal government can take.

We the People also underwent some cosmetic changes that strip away some of the clutter. As in the past, any petition gathering 100,000 signatures gets a response within 60 days.

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