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Petitions to leave union filed from handful of states

From states across the country, Americans have filed petitions on the White House website seeking to secede from the union and form new state governments.

While most of the petitions come from states that supported Republican Mitt Romney in last week’s election, a few swing states and even the deep-blue Northeast are represented.

Petitions have been filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

“We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government,” reads the Alabama petition. Most of the petitions that have been filed so far cite the Declaration of Independence, which states in part: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.”

Most of the petitions have a few thousand signatures; many signers appear to be from other states. Under the “We the People” program, launched last year, the White House will respond to any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days. Anyone over age 13 can create a petition. Previous popular petitions demanded the White House beer recipe (granted) and the legalization of marijuana (denied). The White House has not commented on the petitions.

The petitions from Louisiana and Texas are approaching the threshold for a response. They were the first two states represented, followed by Alabama.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, raised the idea of secession back in 2009, but he has since made clear that he has no interest in it.

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