Section 9B. In the case of a petition for the adoption of Plan F, within seventy days after such petition has been filed with him by the petitioners, the city clerk shall, except as provided in section ten, transmit a certified copy thereof to the city council, except that the signatures upon the petition need not be copied but in place thereof the city clerk shall state the number of signatures of registered voters thereon, certified as such by the registrars of voters or the election commission.
If any question arises as to the validity or sufficiency of the petition or of the signatures thereon, any registered voter of the city may appeal to the state ballot law commission for a determination of said question, by filing a notice of such appeal with the city council and with the clerk of the election commission or the board of registrars of voters within eighty days after the date the petition was filed with the city clerk by the petitioners, and the state ballot law commission shall give such petitioner a hearing on said question and shall within thirty days render a decision thereon. Said commission shall submit notice of its decision forthwith to the city council.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the state ballot law commission may appeal to the superior court sitting in equity for the county in which the city is located; provided, that such appeal is filed in said court ten days after such decision is rendered. The court shall hear all pertinent evidence and determine the facts and, upon the facts as so determined, annul such decision if found to be erroneous in law or not warranted by the evidence, or make such other decree as justice and equity may require.
Within ten days after the expiration of said period of eighty days, if no appeal has been taken, or after receipt of a decision on any appeal in favor of the validity or sufficiency of such petition or signatures, as the case may be, the city council shall, unless the number of valid signatures certified to it is found to be less than the number required by section seven, transmit such certified copy to the city clerk. If the said certified copy is so transmitted to the city clerk at least thirty days before the regular city election in the odd year, the question proposed by the petitioner shall be submitted upon the official ballot to a vote of the registered voters of the city at said regular city election; otherwise the city clerk shall forthwith transmit such certified copy to the state secretary who shall cause it to be placed upon the official ballot for use in said city at the state election in the even year, next following the aforesaid city election.
If the said certified copy is so transmitted to the city clerk and then transmitted by him to the state secretary at least sixty days before the regular state election in the even year, the question proposed by the petitioner shall be caused to be placed by the state secretary upon the official ballot for use in said city at the state election in the even year; otherwise, the city clerk shall cause it to be placed upon the official ballot for use in said city at the regular city election in the odd year, next following the aforesaid state election.