Note: survey results from data collected in 2020.
Americans use their right to petition more than they might realize. Almost three-quarters (73%) have signed an online or in-person petition before, with members of Gen Z and Democrats most likely to have done so recently.
Many have also petitioned in other ways:
- 41% have volunteered with a local organization to move the needle on an issue of concern. Millennials are the most likely to have volunteered with a campaign or organization.
- 40% have contacted an elected official to change a law or policy position, with Gen Z least likely to have done so.
- 35% have spoken up at a government event such as a school board or town hall meeting.
- 24% have volunteered for a candidate’s political campaign.
Voting is often considered the ultimate expression of petition, and 17% of respondents mistakenly named the right to vote as a First Amendment freedom.
But only 14% could name petition, and just 5% of respondents say petition is the First Amendment freedom they value most.
More than four in 10 respondents overall could identify petition from a list — nearly as many have petitioned their elected officials.
Slightly more respondents (17%) mistakenly named the right to vote as a First Amendment freedom, than could name petition (14%).
Just 14% can name it as a First Amendment freedom but 73% say they have signed a petition.