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I have receive a few petitions which were being circulated via email, and it has occured to me that this is probably not a very effective means. Once the petition is sent to more than two people you have two petitions floating around with only about half the total number of "signatures." They continue
to get split up further until you have several of the same petiiton circulating with only a fraction of the total signatures. And of course there's the problem of getting it (or, more likely, them) back to the petition's originator or the appropriate government figure.
I think that there should be an online site instead, where people can post and sign petitions. I'm envisioning a setup similar to the HalfBakery, with a main index listing the most recently posted petitions in each category (gun control, women's rights, minority rights, etc.) And signatures are placed via annotation.
This is the one that I am aware of. [pnewp, Mar 29 2001]
A Dutch petitions website I made [rrr, Feb 14 2006]
||For Great Justice, include every .sig
||'ouch'? sorry, that was just a rip off some /.ers sig, that I thought might have proven particularly amusing in this context (and I lied; that makes TWO aybabtu allusions, woe is me!) I'm with you on this, waugsqueke; the idea is fine, but sappers of all sorts just gravitate toward these things, and many will stop at nothing to distort or destroy anything valid and noble.
||Even if the petition itself is
offline, the petition drive could
be online. E-mail memes could
lead people to petitions.com,
where they would enter their name
and address on the Web site.
Petitions.com would coordinate the
bulk mailing of signature cards.
People get envelopes with one
petition sheet for every cause
they signed up for, sign them all,
and return them (along with an
optional donation check) using the
enclosed SASE. Petitioners would
be billed for (mailing costs -
donations), and would not have
access to the actual addresses of
||But maybe even this wouldn't work;
does the law require that petition
signatures be gathered in person?
||I quite like the idea of getting a regular item in the mail that doesn't want you to buy anything, or give anyone money.
||Whoever set up the petition would have to pay the postage fees, of course.