The campaign to force a public vote on Sacramento’s downtown arena plan was dealt a considerable blow Friday, when the city’s top elections official rejected the measure for “major” legal flaws and ruled it should not appear on the June ballot.
Jessica Levinson, an election-law expert at Loyola University in Los Angeles, said courts tend to interpret the petition requirements strictly.
“You have to dot your i’s and cross your t’s,” Levinson said. “Just because people signed (the petitions) doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the provisions.”
She said courts have upheld decisions by city clerks to reject petitions over wording issues.
“There is absolutely case law that says, ‘This might sound picky, but we have these provisions for a reason,’ ” she said.