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e-CFR data is current as of April 9, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XIPart 1250 → Subpart

Title 7: Agriculture

Subpart—Referendum Procedures

§1250.200   Referenda.
§1250.201   Definitions.
§1250.202   Voting.
§1250.203   Instructions.
§1250.204   Subagents.
§1250.205   Ballots.
§1250.206   Referendum report.
§1250.207   Confidential information.

Source: 75 FR 55256, Sept. 10, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

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§1250.200   Referenda.

Referenda for the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance by the Secretary of Agriculture of an Egg Research and Promotion Order, or the continuance, termination, or suspension of such an order, is approved or favored by producers shall, unless supplemented or modified by the Secretary, be conducted in accordance with this subpart.

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§1250.201   Definitions.

(a) Act means the Egg Research and Consumer Information Act and as it may be amended (Pub. L. 93-428, 7 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).

(b) Administrator means the administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any other officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in the Administrator's stead.

(c) Egg producer or producer means any person who either is an egg farmer who acquires and owns laying hens, chicks, and/or started pullets for the purpose of and is engaged in the production of commercial eggs; or is a person who supplied or supplies laying hens, chicks, and/or started pullets to an egg farmer for the purpose of producing commercial eggs pursuant to an oral or written contractual agreement for the production of commercial eggs. Such person is deemed to be the owner of such laying hens unless it is established in writing, to the satisfaction of the Secretary or the Egg Board, that actual ownership of the laying hens is in some other party to the contract. In the event the party to an oral contract who supplied or supplies the laying hens cannot be readily identified by the Secretary or the Egg Board, the person who has immediate possession and control over the laying hens at the egg production facility shall be deemed to be the owner of such hens unless written notice is provided to the Secretary or the Egg Board, signed by the parties to said oral contract, clearly stating that the eggs are being produced under a contractual agreement and identifying the party (or parties) under said contract who is the owner of the hens.

(d) Order means the order or any amendment thereto promulgated pursuant to the act with respect to which the Secretary has directed that a referendum be conducted.

(e) Person means any individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative, or any other entity.

(f) Referendum agent means the individual or individuals designated by the Secretary to conduct the referendum.

(g) Representative period means the period designated by the Secretary pursuant to section 9 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2708).

(h) Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture or any other officer or employee of the Department of Agriculture to whom there has heretofore been delegated, or to whom there may be hereafter delegated, the authority to act in the Secretary's stead.

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§1250.202   Voting.

(a) Each person who is a producer, as defined in this subpart, at the time of the referendum, who was engaged in the production of commercial eggs during the representative period, and who is not exempt from the provisions of the order as provided for in §1250.348 thereof, shall be entitled to only one vote in the referendum.

(b) Proxy voting is not authorized, but an officer or employee of a corporate producer, or an administrator, executor, or trustee of a producing estate, or an authorized representative of any other entity may cast a ballot on behalf of such producer or estate. Any individual so voting in a referendum shall certify that such individual is an officer or employee of the corporate producer, or an administrator, executor, or trustee of the producing estate, or an authorized representative of such other entity, and that such individual has the authority to take such action. Upon request of the referendum agent, the individual shall submit adequate evidence of his authority.

(c) Each producer shall be entitled to cast only one ballot in the referendum.

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§1250.203   Instructions.

The referendum agent shall conduct the referendum, in the manner herein provided, under supervision of the Administrator. The Administrator may prescribe additional instructions, not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, to govern the procedure to be followed by the referendum agent. Such agent shall:

(a) Determine the time of commencement and termination of the period of the referendum, and the time when all ballots must be received by the referendum agent.

(b) Determine whether ballots may be cast by mail, at polling places, at meetings of producers, or by any combination of the foregoing.

(c) Provide ballots and related material to be used in the referendum. Ballot material shall provide for recording essential information for ascertaining whether the person voting or on whose behalf the vote is cast, is an eligible voter, and the total volume of commercial eggs produced during a representative period.

(d) Give reasonable advance notice of the referendum:

(1) By utilizing available media or public information sources, without incurring advertising expense, to publicize the dates, places, method of voting, eligibility requirements, and other pertinent information. Such sources of publicity may include, but are not limited to, print and radio; and

(2) By such other means as the agent may deem advisable.

(e) Make available to producers instructions on voting, appropriate registration, ballot, and certification forms, and, except in the case of a referendum on the termination or continuance of an order, a summary of the terms and conditions of the order: Provided, that no person who claims to be qualified to vote shall be refused a ballot.

(f) If the ballots are to be cast by mail, cause all the material specified in paragraph (e) of this section to be mailed to each eligible producer whose name and address are known to the Secretary or the referendum agent.

(g) If the ballots are to be cast at polling places or meetings, determine the necessary number of polling or meeting places, designate them, announce the time of each meeting or the hours during which each polling place will be open, provide the material specified in paragraph (e) of this section, and provide for appropriate custody of ballot forms and delivery to the referendum agent of ballots cast.

(h) At the conclusion of the referendum, canvass the ballots, tabulate the results, and except as otherwise directed, report the outcome to the Administrator and promptly thereafter submit the following:

(1) All ballots received by the agent and appointees, together with a certificate to the effect that the ballots listed are all of the ballots cast and received by the agent and appointees during the referendum period;

(2) A tabulation of all challenged ballots deemed to be invalid; and

(3) A report of the referendum including a detailed statement explaining the method used in giving publicity to the referendum and showing other information pertinent to the manner in which the referendum was conducted.

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§1250.204   Subagents.

The referendum agent may appoint any person or persons deemed necessary or desirable to assist the agent in performing such agent's functions of this subpart. Each individual so appointed may be authorized by the agent to perform, in accordance with the requirements herein set forth, any or all of the following functions (which, in the absence of such appointment, shall be performed by said agent):

(a) Give public notice of the referendum in the manner specified herein;

(b) Preside at a meeting where ballots are to be cast or as poll officer at a polling place;

(c) See the ballots and the aforesaid texts are distributed to producers and receive any ballots which are cast; and

(d) Record the name and address of each person casting a ballot with said subagent and inquire, as deemed appropriate, into the eligibility of such persons to vote in the referendum.

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§1250.205   Ballots.

The referendum agent and subagents shall accept all ballots cast; but should they, or any of them, deem that a ballot should be challenged for any reason, the agent or subagent shall endorse above their signature, on the ballot, a statement to the effect that such ballot was challenged, by whom challenged, the reasons therefore, and the results of any investigations made with respect thereto, and the disposition thereof. Invalid ballots shall not be counted.

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§1250.206   Referendum report.

Except as otherwise directed, the Administrator shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a report on the results of the referendum, the manner in which it was conducted, the extent and kind of public notice given, and other information pertinent to analysis of the referendum and its results.

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§1250.207   Confidential information.

The ballots cast or the manner in which any person voted and all information furnished to, compiled by, or in the possession of the referendum agent shall be regarded as confidential. The ballots and other information or reports that reveal, or tend to reveal, the vote of any person covered under the Order and the voter list shall be strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed.

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