Sacramento STOP Petition Stopped by Clerk

Tue, Jan 28 2014 by Neal Hobson

Shirley Concolino, Sacramento’s City Clerk, announced last Friday that she was disqualifying the petition filed with her office containing more than 40,000 signatures to put a proposed new arena for the Sacramento Kings to a public vote this June.  The arena is to be partially funded through a taxpayer subsidy, which the group known as STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) opposes and seeks to petition to the ballot.

ABC News 10 reports that the city clerk invalidated petitions based on various “election code violations,” though mostly technical mistakes, including a missing notice of intent on some petitions and faulty dates on others.

The action now likely moves from the clerk’s office to the courts. News 10 reporter Nick Monacelli quipped to viewers, “I would bet my house on the fact that this fight is eventually going to court.”

“There’s not just a single failure here,” according to election law attorney Steve Churchwell. “There’s basically a failure in every step in the process.”

But attorney Michael McCann argued that “the court is bound to jealously guard the process,” and will use the appropriate standard of ‘substantial compliance’ to overlook minor technical mistakes if possible in order to count the signatures of valid registered voters.

Whatever legal action commences, the STOP initiative has a March 7 deadline to gain a spot on the June ballot.

ABC New 10: Sacramento City Clerk rejects STOP initiative