CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - People in 33 states, including Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois, have gone to the government's "We the People" petition site asking their state to secede or withdraw from the United States and create its own government.
It's a political movement that dates back to before Abraham Lincoln took office, one being driven once again by a contentious presidential election.
Dr. Frank Nickell teaches history at Southeast Missouri State University and says he's seen petitions to secede before.
"It is intended to attract attention and to call attention to the dissatisfaction that people have," Nickell said.
This is the reason Tony O'Hara and his why say they signed the petition circulating in Missouri.
"It's not to separate from the federal government or to sound like we are just crazy in Missouri and that we just do something off the sleeve or off the cuff," O'Hara said, "we just feel like we need to ground ourselves."
"I believe in coming together as a country instead of just a state, we will get a lot more done," Louise Ayers said.
In the Heartland, petitions have been filed in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Missouri has about 13,000 signatures, and Kentucky has about the same. Arkansas signatures total a few thousand more at 15,000. Tennessee leads with more than 20,000 signatures.
Just like any other petition, it needs 25,000 signatures in 30 days to get a response from the White House, which has been promised if a state reaches that mark.
"People think of this as an ideal," O'Hara said. "You know to think about hey, can we do something different."
"This is the time we need to agree to disagree and realize what we are working for and striving for," Ayers said.
Whether you are for or against the petition, Nickell says it is something we all can learn from.
"Every once in awhile we are reminded maybe we aren't doing things the way we could do them," Nickell said. "So, I think this is part of our process to establish a more perfect Union."