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.

17% mistakenly named the right to vote as a first amendment freedom.

Slightly more respondents (17%) mistakenly named the right to vote as a First Amendment freedom, than could name petition (14%).

73% say they has signed a petition

Just 14% can name it as a First Amendment freedom but 73% say they have signed a petition.

Explore Americans’ Views On Other First Amendment Freedoms