Are email petitions acceptable to Congress or any other municipality?

An e-mail rumor has been circulating that states that “e-mail petitions are NOT acceptable to Congress or any other municipality. To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and full address”. We do not conduct our online petition campaigns in this way. We rarely send a petition to a member of Congress but rather use special software called Capitol Advantage where an individual enters their zip code and is taken directly to the contact form for their state or federal elected leaders (

The dictionary begins the definition in this manner - "a formally drawn request, often bearing the names of a number of those making the request, that is addressed to a person or group of persons in authority or power, soliciting some favor, right, mercy, or other benefit: a petition for clemency; a petition for the repeal of an unfair law."

Offline and online petitions can serve as a persuasive advocacy tool but they do have limitations. A petition is not a legal instrument but it can be an effective tool for grass roots activists in expressing a collective opinion. Signing the petition online is equivalent to signing a hard copy. Your online signature is just as important and valid to us as a hard copy signature.