PROVO, Utah (AP) — An organization calling itself Utahns for Medical Freedom has filed a referendum to repeal a citywide mandate in Provo that would require people to wear facial coverings indoors and outdoors in public areas and at large gatherings during the pandemic.

The group filed the referendum on Tuesday, KSTU-TV reported. Mayor Michele Kaufusi previously vetoed the ordinance, but the Provo City Council overrode the veto last Thursday.

City Recorder Amanda Ercanbrack said the referendum will not appear on this year’s ballot because the deadline has already passed. Utahns for Medical Freedom must now collect 3,200 signatures to qualify for the November 2021 ballot.

Ercanbrack said the city would not implement a stay on the mandate until the petition has received enough signatures. The ordinance is currently in effect and is set to expire Nov. 15.

“This has the chilling effect of dissuading any person or group from ever filing referendums,” group organizer Mary Ann Nielsen said, claiming that city officials are violating the group's constitutional rights.

“We can take them to court,” Nielsen said. “According to the Utah Constitution, it’s very clear if you want to read it. I don’t know how anyone could misinterpret it... It’s supposed to stop any ordinance from going through until it’s submitted to the voters.”

Deputy City Attorney Brian Jones has argued that by statute the Utah Legislature devised a specific process for putting a referendum on the ballot and getting a law suspended, which includes collecting the signatures first and having them certified, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“Until (UMF collects) those signatures and (has) them certified, they haven’t followed the process provided by statute and therefore the law isn’t suspended until they’ve done that," he said.

City leaders have discussed potential amendments to the ordinance during Tuesday meetings.

“We are looking at some tweaks to the ordinance and will be getting a report from the administration about their educational campaign,” Council Chair George Handley said. “We had certainly contemplated the possibility of a referendum happening, but it didn’t seem prudent to allow such a possibility to color our decision-making.”