Over the past few days, petitions have been popping up on the White House’s official petition page, petitions.whitehouse.gov, calling for the government to let various states secede.
South Dakota wasn’t in the first batch of secession petitions, but there’s one now, with 2,276 virtual signatures.
It’s under the title, “We petition the Obama administration to: Peacefully grant the State of South Dakota withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”
The text is basically just a quotation from the Declaration of Independence, the “when… it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” section.
Read it here.
There are 43 of these secession petitions, some of them duplicates. The most popular of the petitions is the Texas one, which has 76,461 signatures. Any petition with 25,000 signatures will automatically draw a response from the White House.
There’s also a few counter-secession petitions, including one to “deport everyone that signed a petition to withdraw their state from the United States of America” with 3,810 signatures.
Signatories are identified only by their first name, last initial and town of residence. A majority of the signatories of the South Dakota petition seem to be from other states. I flipped through all the mentions of “SD” on the page and found just one entry jumped out, a “Lora H” from Sioux Falls (signature #906).
Blogger Pat Powers previously posted a screenshot of outgoing Rep. Lora Hubbel, the Minnehaha County Republican Party chair, speculating about starting a South Dakota secession petition.
Hubbel couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
UPDATE: Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s director of policy and communications Tony Venhuizen emails a one-sentence response to my request for comment.
“The governor is opposed to secession,” Venhuizen wrote.