The Honolulu city clerk said Tuesday she would not accept petitions from a campaign that is trying to place an initiative measure on the city’s November ballot to kill a planned rail transit system.

The clerk said the petitions would be invalid because they call for a “special election” and that the measure is therefore ineligible for November’s general election, according to published reports. Special election petitions can’t be submitted within 180 days of a general election, either, according to the clerk.

The “Stop Rail Now” campaign wants to ask voters to approve an ordinance with the following wording: “Honolulu mass transit shall not include trains or rail transit.”

The city and county of Honolulu, which governs the entire island of Oahu, has been collecting an excise tax to finance the 20-mile, $4 billion project since the beginning of 2007.

Gov. Linda Lingle had announced Saturday that she has signed one of the petitions, but  said she is not taking a position for or against a rail system.

“My reason for signing this petition is to give the people of Oahu the opportunity to make an informed decision on what will be the most expensive project in state history,” Lingle said in a statement.

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