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e-CFR data is current as of January 26, 2021

Title 12Chapter VISubchapter BPart 611Subpart C → §611.340

Title 12: Banks and Banking
Subpart C—Election of Directors and Other Voting Procedures

§611.340   Confidentiality and security in voting.

(a) Each Farm Credit bank and association's board of directors must adopt policies and procedures that:

(1) Ensure the security of all records and materials related to a stockholder vote including, but not limited to, ballots, proxy ballots, and other related materials.

(2) Ensure that ballots and proxy ballots are provided only to stockholders who are eligible to vote as of the record date set for the stockholder vote.

(3) Provide for the establishment of a tellers committee or an independent third party who will be responsible for validating ballots and proxies and tabulating voting results. A tellers committee may only consist of voting stockholders who are not employees, directors, director-nominees, or members of that election cycle's nominating committee.

(4) Ensure that a list of eligible voting stockholders (or identity codes of eligible voting stockholders) as of the voting record date is provided to the tellers committee or independent third party that will be tabulating the vote to ensure the validity of the votes cast. A small number of specifically authorized administrative employees of the institution may assist the tellers committee in such verifications, provided the institution implements procedures to ensure the confidentiality and security of the information made available to the employees. If an institution is using a tellers committee, verification of voter eligibility must be done separate and apart from the opening and tabulating of the actual ballots and may be done in advance of the vote tabulation, any time after the list of eligible voting stockholders has been provided to the tellers committee.

(5) Ensure that all information and materials regarding how or whether an individual stockholder has voted remain confidential, including protecting the information from disclosure to the institution's directors, stockholders, or employees, or any other person except:

(i) A duly appointed tellers committee;

(ii) A small number of specifically authorized administrative employees assisting the tellers committee by validating stockholders' eligibility to vote;

(iii) An independent third party tabulating the vote; or

(iv) The Farm Credit Administration.

(b) No Farm Credit bank or association may use signed ballots in stockholder votes. A bank or association may use balloting procedures, such as an identity code, that can be used to identify whether an individual stockholder is eligible to vote or has previously submitted a vote. In weighted voting, the votes must be tabulated by an independent third party.

(c) An independent third party or each member of the tellers committee that tabulates the votes, and any administrative employees assisting the tellers committee in verifying stockholder eligibility to vote, must sign a certificate declaring that such party, member, or employee will not disclose to any person (including the institution, its directors, stockholders, or employees) any information about how or whether an individual stockholder has voted, except that the information must be disclosed to the Farm Credit Administration, if requested.

(d) Once a Farm Credit bank or association receives a ballot, the vote of that stockholder is final, except that a stockholder may withdraw a proxy ballot before balloting begins at a stockholders' meeting. A Farm Credit bank or association may give a stockholder voting by proxy an opportunity to give voting discretion to the proxy of the stockholder's choice, provided that the proxy is also a stockholder eligible to vote.

(e) Ballots and proxy ballots must be safeguarded before the time of distribution or mailing to voting stockholders and after the time of receipt by the bank or association until disposal. When stockholder meetings are held for the purpose of conducting elections or other votes, only proxy ballots may be accepted prior to any or all sessions of the stockholders' meeting and mail ballots may only be distributed after the conclusion of the meeting. In an election of directors, ballots, proxy ballots, and election records must be retained at least until the end of the term of office of the director. In other stockholder votes, ballots, proxy ballots, and records must be retained for at least 3 years after the vote.

(f) An institution and its officers, directors, and employees may not make any public announcement of the results of a stockholder vote before the tellers committee or independent third party has validated the results of the vote.

[80 FR 30335, May 28, 2015]

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