A pair of petitions filed on a White House website that seek approval for Missouri to withdraw from the United States has garnered a combined 33,000 signatures over the last two weeks.
McClatchy Newspapers reports that since President Barack Obama won re-election, nearly 1 million people from all 50 states have signed online petitions aimed at seceding from the union. The largest petition hails from Texas, which had 117,000-plus digital signatures by this week.
The petitions appear on a section of the White House website called "We the People" inviting users to submit or sign petitions about policy changes they would like to see. If a petition gets 25,000 signatures within a month, the White House staff will "review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."
It does not appear that either of the Missouri petitions, however, has single-handedly reached 25,000 signatures. One has a little more than 20,000. Another has 13,000. Both were started on Nov. 10, and neither cites a rationale for secession beyond a partial quote from the Declaration of Independence.
The petitions have no legal significance, and the U.S. Constitution does not allow states to unilaterally secede from the union. Many of the signatures on the Missouri petitions come from people who live outside the state.
That secession talk has also spawned other petitions in response. One, created by someone named Joseph M. from Philadelphia, calls for the White House to throw a pizza party for the rest of the nation if Missouri is allowed to secede.
"As remaining loyal citizens of America, and to shove it in Missourians faces once they aren't a part of the U.S. any longer," the petition reads, "a Nationwide Pizza Party would reconcile differences, mend old wounds and bring together the nation." That document has drawn roughly 1,600 signatures.