If municipalities desiring to consolidate wish to form a new and distinct corporate organization to be operated under the name of either one of such municipalities or a different name, the several councils, upon the filing with the mayor or chief executive officer or chief executive authority of each of such municipalities of a petition signed by not less than one fourth of the number of the qualified electors residing in each of such municipalities setting forth that they desire the consolidation of such municipalities, shall each pass an ordinance expressing the purpose thenceforth to operate as one municipal corporation under the name therein mentioned and call an election to be held simultaneously in the several municipalities on a day designated by said ordinances, not less than 30 days after the passage thereof.
Such election shall be conducted in the same manner as general municipal elections and by officers selected by the several councils. The voting places shall be designated by the councils and an official ballot shall be furnished with the words "for consolidation" and "against consolidation" written or printed thereon. Said election shall be held under the same sanctions and penalties as general elections, and the returns shall be made to the councils by the proper officers. The several councils shall canvass such returns and announce the results in their respective municipalities.
If a majority of the qualified electors voting in each municipality vote for consolidation, then such municipalities shall be one municipal corporation and shall operate as one municipal government.