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Meanwhile, the trust is scrambling to comb over its petition pages and prepare for oral arguments by its attorney, Elizabeth Getman, next week in support of its legal challenge.

To make the ballot, the group had to collect signatures from 5 percent of the city’s voters, including 5 percent of the electorate in each of five of the city’s eight wards to ensure a distribution of input from across the District. The group was given until Sept. 10 to collect the needed signatures. However, in order to get on the November ballot, petition pages had to be submitted by July 9.

But the elections board ruled the petition group had collected 21,572 valid signatures, or 1,726 fewer than the 23,298 needed.

Mr. Weaver on Thursday said the process has been a “massive failure” in terms of open government.

“There clearly seems to be some difference of opinion as to what the methodology was,” Judge Cordero said.